City of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti - Update 5/14/20 - L.A.’s next steps
Our collective goal in Los Angeles is simple: to slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s the reason I signed the Safer at Home order three weeks ago, and it’s why we are making so many sacrifices today to save the lives of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones tomorrow.
This is a critical week in our fight against this virus. This is the week to cut back on any movement, to skip shopping if you have enough, to just stay home. We can’t get complacent, we can’t let up in this fight.
We know what we need to do to flatten the curve. We also understand the power in knowing who has the coronavirus so we can isolate it.
In Los Angeles, we have ramped up testing at an extraordinary pace. We opened our first drive-through site the day after the Safer at Home order went into effect. Now there are 13 testing sites across the County, in partnership with the County Department of Public Health, and we’re on track to complete 30,000 tests by the end of this week. It’s our goal to expand testing as quickly as possible and deliver them to everyone who needs one.
This week we announced the expansion of our free testing program. Now, any resident of L.A. County with symptoms of COVID-19 can schedule a test.
We are no longer limiting tests to the highest-risk populations, but priority for same day or next day tests will still be given to symptomatic individuals with underlying health challenges, people over 65 years old, health care professionals, and first responders.
To check your eligibility and make an appointment, go to Coronavirus.LACity.org/Testing
Wearing face coverings
Of course, the driver of every action we take is prevention. That’s why we issued new guidance last week to L.A. residents on the importance of wearing face coverings in public.
We’re taking that a step further and adding a new layer of protection for Angelenos in the fight against COVID-19.
Protecting our workers
Starting this Friday, workers in many of our non-medical essential businesses will be required to wear cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths while at work. The same goes for customers at these businesses. For our medical essential businesses, there are more specific types of protective equipment, and help we are providing on that front is outlined later in this email.
Employers are required to provide those face coverings for their employees, or reimburse them for their cost. This includes workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, taxi and rideshare businesses, and more. Please read more about this important new regulation. You have a role to play here, too.
Though you should stay at home as much as possible this week, if you must run an essential errand, you need to cover your face.
This face covering could be a bandana, a scarf, or something you make with fabric. You can find instructions online for making a cloth face covering or go to LAprotects.org to purchase one.
And spread the word. Share your face covering photo on social media with #LAProtects — or using our new Facebook profile frame.
Innovating for our health care workers
In addition to everything we’re doing to protect workers all across the city, we know that our doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals on the front lines in this fight deserve every available resource. To help keep them safe, it’s vitally important that we expand supplies of medical grade masks and other personal protective gear that they must wear on the job.
We launched L.A. Protects to help spur new production of critical supplies, by organizing approved local manufacturers to make protective gear and other equipment for essential workers — and connecting them with industries in need of those products. The initial target for the initiative was the manufacturing of 5 million non-medical masks, but now we’re also expanding that effort to include personal protective equipment for medical workers.
Over the weekend, I met with designers working inside the makerspace at the Iovine and Young Academy at USC, which is a partner in L.A. Protects.
They’re using 3D-printing technology to create new prototypes for face shields, N95-equivalent masks, and other protective gear for health care workers.
We'll soon be matching hospitals in need of supplies with architecture and design firms and other companies with the capacity to 3D print these items in bulk to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and protect the heroes in our hospitals.
Helping our workers and businesses
Washington’s coronavirus relief bill helps, but the $349 billion in Small Business Administration loans are a start to survival –– not a road to recovery. And we have to make sure everyone who needs assistance now can get it, to bolster the small, local businesses that are the cornerstone of our economy, and prevent more Angelenos from losing their jobs.
The package establishes two types of loans: Economic Injury Disaster loans, which help small businesses make up for temporary loss of revenue, and the Paycheck Protection Program (or PPP), which helps businesses keep workers on payroll during this emergency. There’s a lot of confusion about what businesses should apply for which loans. On top of that, many businesses are being told by their banks that they don’t qualify if they don’t already have a loan.
These loans are essential to keeping businesses afloat and keeping employees from being laid off.
That’s why I announced the L.A. CARES Corps, a partnership between the City and County to provide small businesses with the help they need to apply for federal loans.
The program offers an informative website — where business owners can obtain a clear explanation of the two emergency loan programs and directly access loan applications. And we have a call-in center at (833)-238-4450, where business owners can get help from loan counselors trained in completing S.B.A. applications. For businesses that are not eligible for an S.B.A. loan, there is information on how to apply for the City’s Small Business Emergency Loan or obtain assistance through a BusinessSource Center.
Easter Sunday is a special time for people across our city and around the world, and it’s usually a time when families come together in parks across Los Angeles. But just like so many things about this year, we can’t take any chances and go about our usual routines.
Though we closed hiking trails, beaches, City rec centers and sports facilities, we have continued to allow the use of parks for walking and jogging. But this weekend, we’re taking the additional step of fully closing City parks starting the evening of Saturday, April 11th, through the morning of Monday, April 13th.
We’re taking these steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and protect our families and communities.
Whenever there is a new step we can take to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19, I want to make sure you know about it as soon as possible.
Los Angeles is a leader in responding to this global crisis, and that’s why I want to share the latest guidance from public health experts on how you can help protect yourself and those around you from infection. As we learn more about this virus, we will continue to update our guidance so we don’t just flatten the curve, but get ahead of it.
We are recommending that all Angelenos wear face coverings in public.
We have issued new guidance to L.A. residents on the importance of wearing face coverings in public. The California Department of Public Health has also shared public guidance on the use of face coverings.
Early data suggests that many who are infected with COVID-19 do not have symptoms, which is why everyone should wear cloth face coverings when leaving the house for essential activities. However, a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures — most importantly, staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently, and practicing safe physical distancing in all settings.
Tonight, Dr. Barbara Ferrer of the L.A. County Department of Public Health joined my briefing to share the science behind this decision, and how and why it works.
WATCH THE VIDEO
Please note: a face covering is not the same as a mask.
N95 and other medical-grade masks are reserved for medical workers like doctors and nurses — and using the medical masks that they need could cost someone their life.
The public should use non-medical face coverings, such as bandanas or scarves, or make your own from cloth. And they’re only effective together with personal hygiene measures like frequent hand washing, as well as safe physical distancing. Your face coverings should be washed after each use.
We know L.A. is a creative city, and I’m sure Angelenos will lead the nation in coming up with innovative ways to make face coverings. Please share great ideas on how you made your own unique face covering on social media with the hashtag #LAProtects.
The bottom line is simple: everyone should stay home as much as possible, and if you must go out for an essential errand, you should have your face covered.
Please share these updates. Every person you tell could be a life saved.
You can find more information and resources at Coronavirus.LACity.org, and make sure you’re signed up for notifications from the City of L.A. at NotifyLA.org.
Thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect your family, friends, neighbors, and community from this virus.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home.
3/20/20I love this city. Every decision I make comes from a place of L.A. love — with a full heart, a clear mind, and a firm commitment to keep all Angelenos healthy and safe.
That is the driving force behind the important announcement I made alongside leaders from across L.A. County, including Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, and Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek: A new “Safer at Home” order to stop all non-essential activity in the City of Los Angeles.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency that is unprecedented in modern history. And public health experts tell us that staying at home is a necessary step to protect the health and safety of all Angelenos. It’s not an action we want to take. But we must. Doing so will save lives.
Here are the key parts of the “Safer at Home” order:
- Angelenos are directed to stay in their residences and limit activity outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary for essential tasks — including to secure food and health care, safety and medical necessities, as well as to care for children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
- Many businesses — including malls, many shops, companies, and nonprofit organizations — must stop operations that require workers to be present in-person.
- No public and private gatherings that would occur outside of a single home will be allowed.
This order will be effective Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. For a 24-hour period following that effective date and time, employees and business owners will be exempt to allow access to their workplaces to gather belongings, so long as social distancing requirements are followed. Such workplaces shall remain closed to the public in accordance with this order.
The order will be in place through April 19, 2020 and is subject to extension.
These measures are designed to “flatten the curve” — or limit the rate of infection — to prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed with patients.
In this emergency, YOU are our first responder. The choices you make, and the distance you keep, will make all the difference. Nothing is more important right now.
WATCH THE VIDEO
I know that many people feel adrift and scared right now.
But even in this difficult time, there are amazing anchors of generosity all around us: the woman who posted on Nextdoor that she would pick up groceries for her older and more vulnerable neighbors, the houses of worship calling people up to say “you’re not alone,” and folks across the city giving whatever they can to the L.A. Emergency Covid-19 Crisis Fund.
These are the acts of kindness, the beacons of hope, that make me so proud to be an Angeleno.
I want to make sure you are taking care of yourself as we isolate ourselves and stay at home in Los Angeles. These can be tough days and you might be asking what you can do to relieve the stress you are feeling.
Here’s my advice: check in with loved ones — see how a parent is doing, or talk to that friend that you haven’t had a chance to catch up with in months or even years.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help: Los Angeles County Mental Health Services has a hotline that you can call at 1-800-854-7771, or if you prefer texting with someone, use the crisis text line and initiate a conversation with trained counselors by texting “home” to 741741. Let’s all take care of our physical and mental well-being together.
More about what the City is doing:
Plan for Homeless Angelenos: L.A. will add thousands of emergency shelter beds to help get homeless Angelenos indoors more quickly as part of comprehensive efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Small Business Relief: We announced an $11 million economic relief package for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Emergency Operations: I have activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center to Level 1 –– the highest level –– to provide 24/7 response to the COVID-19 pandemic and activated the Disaster Service Worker program for City employees.
Here are steps you should take:
Know the symptoms: COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath — and may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Person-to-person spread mainly occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like the flu. A less common form of transmission can take place from objects or surfaces that become infected.
Stay at home: Stay home as much as possible. Only go out if necessary. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover your cough or sneeze. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you have recently traveled in an area with COVID-19 infections or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, monitor your health and contact your doctor.
- Stay informed: Please sign up for NotifyLA, our city’s emergency notification system. Stick with trusted and official sources for accurate and timely updates, including CDC.gov, PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and LAMayor.org/Coronavirus.
Share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues, so we can all do our part to protect our community and our city.
Thank you for responding to this emergency with courage, compassion, wisdom, and resolve to overcome this crisis and help each other.