Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many L.A. residents, including those over 60, can have their groceries delivered by taxi free of charge. In Smyrna, Georgia, police officers are dropping off groceries.

Why it matters: Senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people with compromised immune systems face additional challenges in safely getting groceries during this coronavirus pandemic, and some communities are redirecting resources to deliver necessities.

Instacart and other services offer grocery delivery for a fee. Grocery stores are offering online orders, but typically require in-person pick-up.

  • For anyone in an at-risk group, especially if they're on a fixed income, neither of these solutions are ideal.

What's happening: Individuals have stepped up to create networks to match people who need deliveries with those who can make them. In some cases, municipalities are exploring how existing resources could fill in this gap.

  • L.A. County has a program that uses taxis to transport senior citizens and residents with disabilities to appointments. This week, the county began using that same infrastructure to offer free grocery and meal delivery up to four times a month.
  • Smyrna Police Department Sergeant Louis Defense III helped to start a grocery and medicine delivery program that also launched this week and serves seniors, people with disabilities, and vulnerable residents.

What they're saying: "There are so many agencies who can do the same thing," Sergeant Defense told Axios. "Our academies are closed right now, and we have rookies that need something to do. This steeps them in our philosophy of true community-oriented policing."

  • L.A. County acting director of workforce development, aging and community services Otto Solórzano also encouraged others to think creatively. "There are transportation systems that have been funded by the federal government. I think many of those vehicles, because they are not being utilized right now, can be repurposed to deliver meals to individuals that need it."

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Coronavirus cases fell by 15% this week

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections fell by almost 15% over the past week, continuing a steady downward trend.

Why it matters: The standard caveats still apply — progress can always fall apart, the U.S. is climbing down from a very high number of cases, and this is far from over. But this is undeniably good news. Things are getting better.

Aug 26, 2020 - Health

Carson: It would "behoove" us to move forward with COVID-19 vaccine and treatment testing

Screenshot: Axios Events

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson says "this is not necessarily the time to take everything slowly" when it comes to the Trump administration's approach to getting vaccines and treatments to the public.

Why it matters: Carson's comments, made Wednesday during an Axios virtual event, came days after the Food and Drug Administration announced an emergency use authorization (EUA) for treating the coronavirus with convalescent plasma. President Trump accused the agency of slow-walking the development and approval of vaccines and therapeutics to hurt him politically.

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