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California Will Collect Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation Data From Covid-19 Patients

California Will Collect Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation
Data From Covid-19 Patients 1
Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

Good morning. Let’s begin with an update on the coronavirus crisis, which has hit the state particularly hard. California had two of the earliest deaths from Covid-19 in the United States. It has had more cases than any other state in the nation, and the pandemic is showing few signs of letting up.

Here’s the latest:

In a move long sought by advocates, California has stepped up its efforts to track whether the coronavirus is affecting L.G.T.B.Q. people at disproportionate rates.

State public health officials announced on Tuesday that health care providers and labs would be required to collect and report to the state data that patients give voluntarily about their gender identity and sexual orientation, in addition to their age and ethnicity.

“Complete data is essential to addressing health inequities and better designing public health interventions that save lives,” Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s public health officer, said in a statement.

[Read about how everyone — including epidemiologists and politicians among others — is trying to parse mountains of pandemic data.]

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The requirement applies not only to Covid-19 patients, but also those with other reportable diseases.

Providers were already required to report race and ethnicity, though the data is often incomplete. According to the state, information about patients’ race and ethnicity is missing from 36 percent of coronavirus cases.

And early in the pandemic, California’s case records didn’t show the racial disparities that were being reported elsewhere. But as more complete information began to roll in, it became clear that the virus was, as expected, disproportionately hurting Latino and Black Californians.

[Track every coronavirus case in California by county.]

Rick Chavez Zbur, the executive director of Equality California, which pushed for the change, said in a statement that the move was crucial for better pinpointing how the virus is harming L.G.B.T.Q. people, who are more likely to be at risk for a variety of reasons.

L.G.B.T.Q. people are more likely to work in the service industry, according to Equality California, and they also suffer from higher rates of homelessness and H.I.V.

“This data will finally give our government, our public health leaders and our community an understanding of the degree to which this pandemic is devastating L.G.B.T.Q.+ people,” Mr. Zbur said.

[Read about how H.I.V. survivors who have settled around Palm Springs are confronting painful memories and new risks.]

A recent survey shows …


Credit…Mario Tama/Mario Tama/Getty Images

The vast majority of Californians — 74 percent — believe that people should always wear masks in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Two-thirds say they support the Black Lives Matter movement. And 60 percent say that racism is a big problem in the nation today.

That’s all according to the latest statewide survey by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California.

[Read about how the pandemic has affected Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval rating.]

The survey measured public opinion about the most urgent issues affecting the state. And while, as is often the case, most Californians were generally on the same page, there were differences in degrees of views between racial groups and geographic areas.

And many of those differences reflected the disproportionate ways that the virus has affected different communities. Latinos were the most likely to say they are very worried about someone in their family getting sick, followed by Asian-Americans, African-Americans and then white people.

[Read more about the survey.]

Here’s what else is happening


Credit…Dario Lopez-Mills/Associated Press
  • A new worry for the census? A rushed — and botched — count. [The New York Times]

  • California Democrats unveiled a $100 billion stimulus plan this week that would expand tax credits for low-income Californians and borrow money from the federal government. [The Sacramento Bee]

  • Senator Kamala Harris has been seen as the one to beat to become Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick. But she’s not a lock. [Politico]

  • The captains of the New Gilded Age — Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google — are set to appear together before Congress today for the first time to justify their business practices. [The New York Times]

  • The state is investigating Amazon for what warehouse employees have described as a failure to protect them from Covid-19. [The Guardian]

If you missed it, here’s how the pandemic is accelerating the explosion of warehouses in the Inland Empire, which is putting workers in a difficult spot. [The New York Times]

  • Three food plants in Los Angeles County were forced to temporarily close after dozens of employees at each facility were infected with the coronavirus. [CBS Los Angeles]

While officials in Los Angeles County have released information about workplace outbreaks, counties are not required to do so. Here’s why some researchers think that would help. [The New York Times]

  • Although the Orange County Board of Education doesn’t have authority over the county’s school boards, the panel voted to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom over the state’s plan to keep most schools closed to start the school year. [Voice of OC]

Here’s more about the plan. [The New York Times]

And finally …


Credit…The Television Academy, via Associated Press

The release of the list of this year’s Emmy nominations felt a bit like a dispatch from another universe. It felt so normal.

The nominees were announced. Netflix dominated, breaking HBO’s record for the most nominations of any studio or streaming service with 160. There were snubs and surprises; Baby Yoda helped propel “The Mandalorian” to a nomination for best drama. (Or, at least, the memes didn’t hurt.)

HBO’s “Watchmen” will duke it out with “Mrs. America,” from FX, in several high-profile categories.

But, of course, things are not normal. It’s still unclear whether the telecast, set for September, will be virtual or live or whether the winners will deliver their speeches on Zoom.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read every edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, went to school at U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter. California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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