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It’s been the deadliest day yet for the coronavirus in the Golden State, but there are signs of optimism. And as a heatwave makes its way to parts of the state, authorities gear up to enforce social distancing. Plus, don’t miss stories that remind us that faith without works is dead.

It’s Arlene Martínez, with news for Thursday. 

But first, anyone else give themselves bangs while they’re social distancing? Cool, cool. Here’s some step-by-step advice to make our next home haircuts even straighter. And there are nail tips too. (See what I did there?)

Stay safe and informed with news and resources from across the USA TODAY Network and beyond: Sign up for In California today (it’s free!).

A deadly 24 hours. And debt collectors: Step back 

 (Photo: Getty Images)

The Golden State logs its deadliest 24-hour period to date — 115 people died of coronavirus in the 24 hours between Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Wednesday and Thursday midday briefings. But there was good news: The number of hospitalizations and new intensive care unit patients both dropped for the first time since the outbreak began.

Newsom also said:

Californians can take advantage of a 90-day student loan forbearance without negatively affecting their credit scores or being fined.Residents cannot have their federal stimulus fund checks garnished by debt collectors. This is retroactive, so if your money was taken, they’ll have to give it back.3.9 million residents have applied for unemployment benefits since March 15. So far, the state’s given out $4 billion.Another 1,300 staffers were added in recent days as the unemployment office hours expanded from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Coronavirus becomes the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County, with nearly 800 people dying since the outbreak began. 

‘It’s going to be around a long time’: What we’ve learned from the first discovered COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County. 

It’s getting hot in here

Beach-goers relax near the pier in Ventura on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The City Council voted to allow limited access to parks, beaches and the pier. (Photo: JUAN CARLO/THE STAR)

Heat advisories go out in parts of the state as temperatures hit triple digits.  In the Coachella Valley, it reached 100 on Thursday and public pools — as well as those at apartment complexes — remain off-limits. 

San Clemente plans to reopen beaches to residents only. It plans to enforce that by restricting parking near the water. 

Several beaches in Ventura County have also reopened, with restrictions. Police will be out in force as a heatwave descends. 

Beach reopenings, long waits for food, golf and testing kits: The week in photos across the state. 

Dying alone, grieving in solitude

Funeral homes are changing the way funerals are held during the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Getty)

Faith leaders have always worn multiple hats — as spiritual guides, psychologists, friends, activists and community leaders. In recent weeks, they’ve taken on the role of health administrators, distributing gloves and masks anytime people do attend funerals as they make sure everyone stays at least 6 feet apart.

They try to answer deep, theological questions about the afterlife from panicked congregants.

Because of orders that limit the number of people at funerals, many death and burial rituals have been modified.

In Los Angeles, Amy Bernstein, senior rabbi at Kehillat Israel who serves as the president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, is concerned about people dying, but mostly she’s been thinking about those left behind. 

“Yes, it’s sad that dead are not being honored, but the real tragedy for us as a people is that the moment of the burial, we shift to comforting the mourners,” she said. “Rituals around death are really powerful for all cultures. They’re huge transitional points … and right now, what’s really being stripped away is the ability to sit and grieve together. 

https://howremarketingworks1.now.site

‘We hear you, Dad’: A daughter stays on the phone for hours as her father dies alone, just five miles away.

What else we’re talking about

Vin Scully, former Dodgers broadcaster (Photo: Richard Mackson, USA TODAY Sports)

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, 92, is “resting comfortably” after a fall in his SoCal home. The former voice of the Dodgers says: “I won’t be doing any more head-first sliding; I never liked it.”

0% interest loansand other reasons why buying a car now might make sense. 

Gas prices won’t go up anytime soon — great news for those still using it.

To avoid a bidding war, owners of a Berkeley midcentury home designed by Joseph Olsen and considered a modern masterpiece bump its asking price to $1.75 million. 

One cupcake can make such a difference,” a Thousand Oaks baker thought, so she started delivering hundreds of them to front-line workers. 

Faith + Action = Dreams Come True

The Storytellers Project, a series of live events put on by USA TODAY Network newsrooms across the country, is back with another roundup of some of our most inspiring stories. 

We’re re-sharing tales from some of the thousands of people who have gone on stage to share a story about that time in their life when …

Each Thursday I’m featuring a playlist here, and hope in listening, you may find inspiration, hope or maybe a brief respite from anything troubling your soul.

Week 6 proves that love, faith, hard work and second chances can take us anywhere. 

Trevor Nourse, an addiction counselor, talked about being unable to save everyone who reaches out to him and how he deals with it during the Life and Death Louisville Storytellers Project at PLAY. Sep. 18, 2018 (Photo: Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal)

Making a difference isn’t always fast or easy

Trevor Nourse was the kid in high school who did all the drugs — until he couldn’t do it anymore. When he got sober a friend told him he was “uniquely qualified to be a demon slayer,” and he began telling his story to at-risk youth. At first, he’s energized. But after no one reaches out, one young man is fatally shot, one lives on the street and one goes missing, he gives up. A year later, he sees the missing kid in a sober meeting and she says his talk that day stayed with her and made a difference.

VIDEO:Watch Trevor recount his story.

Marcus Simmons on stage as The Daily Advertiser host The Lafayette Storytellers Project, a night of stories about fresh starts, whether by choice or by chance – taking that first step, stumbling through the second and not knowing how it will all work out. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)

Prison can change a man

Marcus Simmons’ family is devastated by gun violence and poverty. His mother is paralyzed after a shooting and the family of eight is homeless. Marcus sells drugs to support his family. After accidentally killing someone who tried to rob him, Marcus spends years in a 5-by-8 cell. When his mother sends him money for the commissary and a letter telling him to take care and come home, he resolves to do just that. 

VIDEO:Watch Marcus as he shares his story on stage in Lafayette, Louisiana. 

Register reporter Lee Rood tells her story Thursday, April 5, 2018, during the Des Moines Storytellers Project’s show called “Busted: Stories of When I Got Caught” at the Temple Theater in Des Moines. (Photo: Michael Zamora/The Register)

The gift of a second chance

Lee Rood’s credit card is stolen. She and her husband file a police report that a detective explains will go nowhere. So she and her husband, an amateur sleuth, stake out the area where the card is stolen and spot the thief. The man gets 14 days in jail and it seems like the story is over. But shortly thereafter, Lee’s husband is diagnosed with a fast-spreading brain tumor and he dies. Six months later, she runs into the thief. He tells her that his time in jail was his longest experience of sobriety in years. She feels thankful this man got a second chance to live his life.

VIDEO:Watch Lee as she shares her story.

Shondiin Silversmith tells her tale during the Arizona Storytellers Project presents Stories about Stories at the Van Buren in Phoenix on Thursday, Jul 18, 2019. (Photo: Jeremiah Toller/ Special for the Republic)

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

Shondiin Silversmith grows up on a Navajo reservation in Arizona and studies journalism. She pursues her education all the way to Columbia University in New York City. A professor there discourages her from covering indigenous communities, saying that no one will care about her people or her stories. But she dedicates herself to proving him wrong, and she works hard. Today she’s one of only a handful of indigenous people working in the top ranks of American journalism.

AUDIO:Listen to Shondiin share her story.

Storyteller Hélène Biandudi Hofer (Photo: John Schlia Photography)

Opportunities are blessings

Hélène Biandudi Hofer, the first black pageant contestant to become Wendy, the red-headed fast-food icon, tells a story about how that almost didn’t happen. But it does, just not in the way she expected, and the experience influences her to this day.  

VIDEO:Watch Hélène tell her story.

Brian De Los Santos shares his story during The Storytellers Project at the Palm Springs Art Museum on September 5, 2018.  (Photo: Omar Ornelas,The Desert Sun-USA TODAY NETWORK, )

A Dreamer can achieve any dreams

Brian De Los Santos is in middle school when he finds out he is undocumented. He brings home a permission slip for a field trip and his parents have to tell him why he doesn’t have the appropriate identification for interstate travel. His parents explain to him the desperate consequences of being undocumented but say they believe in God, work hard and anything can happen. Brian graduates from college and gets a fellowship in Washington, D.C., and is there when President Obama announces the DREAM Act. He starts a career in journalism and dedicates himself to covering diverse communities in American media.

VIDEO:Watch Brian as he shares his story on stage in Palm Springs.

In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms. Also contributing: LA Times.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/04/23/heatwave-california-debt-social-distancing-funerals-thurs-news/3012561001/



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