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Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 7/20/20, AM

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CA COVID-19 Weekend Roundup / Crews Battle California Blaze As State Fire Danger Grows / Disney Cuts Back On Social Media Ads / Lassen National Park Campsites Close Due To Foraging Bears

CA COVID-19 Weekend Roundup

Mayor Eric Garcetti conceded, yesterday, that Los Angeles reopened too quickly and again warned that the city was “on the brink” of new shutdown orders.

California reported on Saturday its fourth-highest daily total of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 9,000. The state also reported an additional 120 deaths.

Last week Garcetti said he wouldn't hesitate to again shut down all but essential businesses. Those comments came days after Governor Gavin Newsom shut bars and indoor dining statewide, and ordered closures of hair salons, gyms, malls, and other indoor businesses in L.A. and other counties experiencing the most significant surge of virus cases.

Officials said a rare but serious and potentially deadly inflammatory syndrome believed to be associated with the coronavirus has been identified in 15 children in L.A. County. Multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, can cause different parts of the body to become inflamed. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, and exhaustion. Of the children, the L.A. Times reported 73% were Latino, representing a disproportionate burden for the ethnic group.

Here in the Bay Area, Napa County will start fining people who don't wear masks from $25 to $500. County supervisors last week passed an ordinance that would also impose fines of up to $5,000 for businesses that receive repeated complaints of people not wearing face coverings. KPIX-TV reports the citations are a last resort only for repeat offenders and will be issued by code enforcement employees, not law enforcement officers.

Crews Battle California Blaze As State Fire Danger Grows

A wildfire in rural central California grew larger but firefighters also increased containment. The Mineral Fire in western Fresno County expanded to more than 39 square miles and was 35% contained. Four structures have been destroyed and 60 remained threatened. No injuries were reported. The fire erupted nearly a week ago west of Coalinga. To the south in Los Angeles, crews protected homes from a brush fire that burned near properties in the Van Nuys neighborhood. Low humidity and hot temperatures have raised fire danger in large portions of the state.

Twitter: Hack Hit 130 Accounts, Company 'Embarrassed'

Twitter says the hack that compromised the accounts of some of its most high-profile users targeted 130 people. The hackers were able to reset the passwords of 45 of those accounts. The San Francisco-based company said in a blog post Saturday that for up to eight of these accounts the attackers also downloaded the account’s information through the “Your Twitter Data” tool. None of the eight were verified accounts, Twitter said, adding that it is contacting the owners of the affected accounts.

Disney Cuts Back On Social Media Ads

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Walt Disney Co. has “dramatically” slashed its advertising budget on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram. It's the latest setback for the social network, which is facing a growing advertising boycott over its policies and actions on hate speech on its platforms. The Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said the time frame for Disney's pullback was not clear. Disney was Facebook’s top U.S. advertiser for the first six months of 2020, according to research firm Pathmatics Inc. Disney joins hundreds of other companies that have paused spending on the service.

Lassen National Park Campsites Close Due To Foraging Bears

Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California has temporarily banned overnight camping in some parts of its park after several interactions between campers and foraging bears. 

 

The decision was made last week to close down back-country camping in several areas after multiple visitors reported bears had come to their campsites and searched their backpacks for food. The Sacramento Beereports the areas will remain open to the public for hiking, but the park warns visitors to be careful.

The National Park Service website said the policy will not only protect campers but:

“Protect the bears by promoting the offending bear(s) to return to normal foraging behavior.”

There are roughly 30 black bears in the national park, which is located about 240 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Park officials advise visitors to store all food in a bear-resistant container and to never leave their belongings unattended. If visitors come across a bear, park officials advise them to walk away slowly while ensuring their possessions are in hand.