California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, April 10.

The state reports a drop in ICU hospitalizations.
Hints of a flattening curve in Southern California.
And brandishing the Southern cause in war reenactments.

Please note: The newsletter will pause for Easter weekend. Back in your inbox on Tuesday.



The number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive care dropped for the first time since California began tracking, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. Those in ICU beds fell 1.9 percent on Wednesday to 1,132. Newsom noted that one data point is not a trend. "I caution anybody to read too much into that," he said. "But nonetheless, it is encouraging." Mercury News | A.P.


A rollerblader donned a mask in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Los Angeles County, which has roughly 40 percent of the state's cases, reported one its smallest daily increases of new infections on Thursday: 425. Daily counts can fluctuate by hundreds. Still, it was far below the 1,000 or more cases officials were predicting by this point. "The data is encouraging," the county's top health official said. Daily Breeze

Officials in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties cited evidence of flattening curves. Voice of San Diego | Santa Cruz Sentinel


Infections at a Safeway warehouse in Tracy, a confirmed case among the Hoopa tribe in Humboldt County, and a first death in Berkeley. Here are the latest coronavirus totals, according to tallies by the S.F. Chronicle and N.Y. Times:

Confirmed cases:
463,619 in U.S.
20,189 in California
4,435 in Bay Area
13,701 in Southern California

16,695 in U.S.
546 in California

Cumulative infections and deaths in California:

Sources: California Department of Public Health; SF Chronicle

See trackers of cases in California, the U.S., and worldwide.


Landmarks across California were illuminated in blue on Thursday to honor health care workers. Below, a selection of images.

Coit Tower in San Francisco.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Pacific Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier.

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park.

Jerod Harris/Getty Images

The Forum in Inglewood.

Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images


Californians who have lost work will get an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits starting on Sunday, Newsom announced. The payouts will be drawn from a federal stimulus package signed into law recently by President Trump. "That will make the difference for people — whether they can make it or not in this state," a state lawmaker said. L.A. Times | S.F. Chronicle


A staggering 2.3 million Californians have filed unemployment claims in the last month. If it continues this way, an economist said, the state will face a downturn not seen since the Great Depression. Sacramento Bee

A few examples of the toll on high-profile California businesses:

Stone Brewing, the largest brewery in Southern California, laid off more than 300 employees in San Diego County. S.D. Union-Tribune
Yelp laid off 1,000 workers, and Eventbrite laid off 450 as the outbreak bruised tech companies that rely on restaurants and live events. S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco's legendary City Lights Bookstore, once a haven for the Beats, has resorted to a GoFundMe campaign to survive. NBC News

People waited to receive food in Van Nuys on Thursday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

A pop-up food pantry in the San Fernando Valley on Thursday drew so many people that the line of cars stretched about a mile, a sign of how the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the state's working poor. "At first, we were feeding two, three, four hundred families. Now it's turning into thousands," a volunteer said. Reuters | KTLA


A public teleconference with California regulators to discuss limits on sportfishing was canceled after more than 500 people got on the call and began heckling, calling officials "fascists" and shouting "make fishing great again." Earlier this week, a group of conservative politicians, sheriffs, and media outlets told social media followers that the administration was planning to cancel the entire fishing season. That was never contemplated, officials said. Sacramento Bee | Lost Coast Outpost


Other developments:

The L.A. Times found an affordable housing project with a pricetag of $1.1 million per unit. Such costs help explain California's housing crisis. The pandemic is likely to make matters worse. L.A. Times
The UFC canceled a fight scheduled for April 18 on tribal land in California after state officials pressured Disney, the parent company of the UFC's broadcast partner, ESPN. N.Y. Times | ESPN
Cooped up Californians have been adopting a lot of pets. A shelter in Riverside County announced that it had run out of animals. KTLA | ABC 7



Phyllis Lyon, left, and Del Martin in 1983.

"We lost a giant today."

Phyllis Lyon died of natural causes at 95. A gay rights pioneer, she was a founding member of the Daughters of Bilitis, a secret group formed in 1955 that aimed to combat the loneliness and isolation of lesbians. It grew into the first national lesbian rights organization in the U.S. In 2008, Lyon and her partner, Del Martin, were the first same-sex couple to be legally wed in California. San Francisco Bay Times | S.F. Chronicle


Every few weeks or so, the crackle of musket fire echoes across the golden fields of California as men clad in uniforms of the Union and Confederate armies face off in pretend battle. Never mind that the state is located more than 150 years and a world away from the main theaters of the conflict: Many Californians, it turns out, are really into the Civil War. The photographer Brandon Tauszik captured a series of gorgeous images of the state's Civil War reenactors. California Sun


In case you missed it


Five items that got big views over the past week:

UC Irvine public health expert: Expect to stay indoors until at least June. The Guardian
Yosemite posted a gorgeous video showing wildlife roaming the people-free valley. YosemiteNPS/Twitter
Here are some powerful photos of Los Angeles's homeless in the time of a pandemic. N.Y. Times
California archive: Here's a series of gut-wrenching archival photos from the tragedy of Kathy Fiscus, a 3-year-old who fell into a well in 1949. L.A. Times
The Getty museum issued a challenge: recreate a work of art using only people and objects around the house. The responses have been truly inspired.

Thanks for reading!

The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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