Daily LA: ZipRecruiter Lays Off 40%, Apple releases new COVID-19 app, Instagram’s New Co-Watching Feature

Here’s your Daily LA for March 30, 2020.

Happening in LA

U.S. Navy ship Mercy docks in Port of L.A., becoming largest hospital in the city amid a pandemic

A U.S. Navy hospital ship arrived at the Port of Los Angeles Friday, bringing 1,000 beds to help local hospitals bracing for a crush of patients as novel coronavirus cases surge in the county. The fully-staffed USNS Mercy will provide treatment for non-COVID-19 patients, providing relief for hospitals to be able to better focus on treating and isolating those infected with the virus.

Coronavirus hospitalizations have doubled in California over the last three days

Hospitalizations continued to spike in California as the coronavirus spreads, officials said Monday. Between Friday and Monday, the number of California patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in intensive-care beds nearly tripled to 597 from 200.

3 employees at 3 different Southern California grocery stores tested positive for COVID-19

Three employees at three different grocery stores across Southern California have tested positive for COVID-19 as the region continues to see a surge in cases. Grocery store workers are among those on the frontlines of the crisis as one of the essential businesses under California’s stay-at-home order, but local residents weren’t surprised to learn that some turned out to be infected.

Pasadena Unified halts ‘Grab & Go’ meal program after learning kitchen employee may have COVID-19

The Pasadena Unified School District has temporarily halted its student meal service after learning that a kitchen employee may have coronavirus. The employee is currently being tested for COVID-19, according to a statement from Superintendent Brian McDonald, but the diagnosis has not been confirmed.

ZipRecruiter Slashes Staff by 39% as Job Market Seizes – a Telling Sign as Nation Slides Into Recession

The Santa Monica-based company cut 492 employees on Friday, with about 49 of them furloughed with only their healthcare benefits and the hope that the company will make good on its intention to bring them back, sources told dot.LA. The biggest hit was at ZipRecruiter’s office in Tempe, from its sales team.

LA’s Convention Center Is Now A Field Hospital

The convention center in downtown Los Angeles is now being converted into a field hospital, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced tonight. The move is being made to prepare the city for an expected surge in demand for hospital beds as the number of new coronavirus cases swells.

Headlines

Trump extends federal social distancing guidelines to April 30

President Donald Trump said Sunday he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, an abrupt back-down from his push to reopen the country as coronavirus continues to spread. The 15-day guidelines Trump announced two weeks ago were set to expire on Monday, and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to relax them, …

Apple releases new COVID-19 app and website based on CDC guidance

Apple today released a new screening tool and set of resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19, based on the latest CDC guidance. The new COVID-19 website, and COVID-19 app available on the App Store, were created in partnership with the CDC,1 the White House Coronavirus Task Force and FEMA to make it easy for people across the country to get trusted information and guidance at a time when the US is feeling the heavy burden of COVID-19.

Airbnb extends coronavirus cancellation window to May 31, sets aside $250 million to pay hosts for missed stays

Airbnb announced it will allow guests to receive full refunds for trips starting on or before May 31 that were booked prior to March 14 as the company continues to struggle through the coronavirus’ impact on the travel industry. The company will also pay $250 million to hosts to cover the costs of coronavirus cancellations. Specifically, Airbnb will pay hosts 25% of what they would normally receive through their cancellation policies.

WeWork sells off social network Meetup to AlleyCorp and other investors

Meetup, the social networking platform designed to connect people in person, is being spun out from shared office space provider WeWork, the company confirmed on Monday. The site is being sold to AlleyCorp and other private investors for an undisclosed sum, but one that’s reportedly far less than the $156 million acquisition price WeWork paid for the social network back in 2017.

Here’s a list of disinfectants you can use against coronavirus

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is arming consumers with a list of disinfectants that people can use to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. The federal agency released a five-page list of chemicals and products Thursday that it says are strong enough to ward off “harder-to-kill” viruses than SARS-CoV-2, the virus that’s responsible for the disease.

Census Field Operations Further Delayed Until April 15 By COVID-19 Pandemic

While tens of millions of U.S. households continue to fill out 2020 census forms on their own, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the Census Bureau to suspend field operations for the once-a-decade headcount for two more weeks until April 15.

FCC outlines $200 million COVID-19 telehealth plan

Today, the FCC announced a few additional measures to help the US during the coronavirus pandemic. Chairman Ajit Pai shared plans for a $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which would equip healthcare providers with the broadband connectivity and devices they need to provide telehealth services. The FCC also eased off its ongoing crackdown on cell phone subsidy abuse, saying that it won’t de-enroll participants until at least May 29th.

Instagram’s New Co-Watching Feature Lets Friends Browse Posts While Video Chatting

Instagram is helping friends stay connected despite social distancing. The social media app just introduced several new features in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, including a new cowatching capability that allows users to browse posts together in real-time.

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Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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