Office of Supervisor Kuehl - Update 5/16/20 - Extended Eviction Moratorium + Video on Reopening Beaches Safely + More

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May 16, 2020

Update 5/16/20

BOARD MEETING
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we have a responsibility to keep protecting tenants who may not be able to afford their rent and to bolster the systems in place for people experiencing homelessness. 

This week, the Board passed my motion to extend the County-wide Eviction Moratorium until June 30th, and to explore ways to provide additional renter protections for residents across LA County, including in those cities whose eviction moratoria don’t cover both residential and commercial tenants. 

Read: LA County extends eviction moratorium for another month as coronavirus response

Despite our best efforts, the COVID-19 crisis could seriously exacerbate homelessness in LA County. It has posed an expanded challenge for the homelessness services systems, which we have met by innovative measures, such as utilizing unused hotel rooms and currently-shuttered recreation areas. But as recovery begins, these temporary measures will no longer be available, which makes it critical that we be proactive and put a longer-term plan in place as soon as possible. 

My motion, co-authored with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, will proactively address this crisis’ potential effects on people experiencing homelessness. The motion calls on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to collaborate with County Departments and the City of LA on a Homeless COVID-19 Recovery Plan. 
That and more in this week's Board of Supes' Take 5!
 
REOPENING OUR BEACHES SAFELY
Watch: My new video on how to safely return to the beach and still have fun in the sun!

LA County beaches reopened on Wednesday for ocean activities and exercise, only. Several limitations were imposed in order to protect public health and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please keep in mind:

- Gathering, sitting and sunbathing are NOT allowed
- At least 6 feet physical distancing is required
- Face coverings are mandatory when out of the water & around others

We all want this journey to reopening to go smoothly and safely, and we want it to last. So, please, while enjoying the beach, adhere to social distancing and public health guidelines for the benefit of all residents. If we do this right, hopefully, we won't have to close down again! 
Click here to learn more about what's open!
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Update 5/9/20 
This weekend marks the limited start of a gradual relaxing of the Safer At Home order, and the first steps towards reopening business and recreation in LA County. 

The first phase of reopening includes some low-risk retailers (curbside pickup only), car dealerships, and some golf courses and trails. While I understand people are eager to get back to business as usual, our approach to reopening needs to be measured and staggered appropriately to avoid undoing the progress we have made so far. 

Learn all about LA County's Roadmap to Recovery. 

Click the following links for further guidelines on reopening trailsgolf coursescar dealerships, and retail establishments.

Although your efforts to stay home and practice physical distancing have, to date, prevented an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 cases at our health care facilities, we are not yet on the other side of this pandemic. Moving into the future, businesses and residents must continue to observe and practice social distancing requirements and take infection control precautions to prevent overwhelming our hospitals. 

All these steps are part of a slow and steady path to recovery that makes sense for LA County, and I am grateful for your continued patience and cooperation as we make our way back towards normalcy. 

VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
On Wednesday, I hosted a Virtual Town Hall with the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, Joe Nicchitta. Our discussion focused on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and renters as well as County resources for small business.

If you missed the Virtual Town Hall, don't worry! You can still watch it here and get all the valuable information. 
View the Virtual Town Hall here!
CONGRATS TO THE CLASS OF 2020
COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of thousands of long-awaited and treasured occasions, including high school and college graduation ceremonies.

But the Class of 2020 is getting some pretty impressive virtual commencement speakers in (the deeply missed) Michelle and President Barack Obama, LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, and others! Called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, this milestone event will air May 16 at 8:00. 

Read: Attention, graduates: Barack and Michelle Obama have a message for you

To the Class of 2020, we are proud of you and your achievement and can't wait to see you make the world a better place. Onward and upward! 
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Update 5/2/20
CENSUS 2020
The U.S. Census is a national population count that takes place every ten years. More people counted means more money for your community - it's that simple!

The data collected during the Census will make sure that our local communities receive the funding they need for important services like schools, hospitals, and public transportation. And filling out your 2020 Census form is easy! You can do it online or by phone, and an array of languages are available. The survey will ask you simple questions like your name, age, sex, and date of birth, as well as details about the people who live with you. Under federal census law, your responses are kept confidential and can only be used to produce statistics.

Every single person counted makes a difference. Make sure to tell the federal government that your community counts, and fill out your census form at https://my2020census.gov/.
Fill out the Census Form today!
LA COUNTY HUNGER INITIATIVE 
LA County is committed to making sure that our most vulnerable residents don't go hungry by bringing together public agencies, nonprofits, and volunteers to provide nutritious meals to those who need them so long as the Safer At Home directive remains in effect.

On Thursday, my office joined the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks & Recreation in partnership with the LA Regional Food Bank to host a drive-thru food distribution event at El Cariso Park in Sylmar. We served 1,932 households and didn't turn anyone away!

For more resources, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/food. Here, those who are food-insecure can find meal and voucher programs in their neighborhood, and community organizations can get information on how to connect their neighbors to the goods and services they need.

Learn more here!

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Update 4/18/20 

KEEP YOUR MASK ON
LA County, LA City, and the CDC all recommend cloth face-coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Bandanas, scarves, and homemade masks will work, but please leave the N95 and medical-grade masks for our frontline heroes. Children under two years old do not need to wear a mask, as it poses a suffocation risk to infants. 

Remember, a face mask alone does not mean you are completely protected. The magic formula is face-covering AND physical distancing, at least 6-feet. This will significantly reduce, though not eliminate, the chance of transmitting COVID-19, and it works best when everyone follows these guidelines. 

If you don't wear your face mask correctly, it won't work as intended. And if it is uncomfortable, you'll find yourself readjusting and touching your face, the very thing a face-covering should prevent. You can check out some tips on how to make sure your mask is effective and comfortable to wear below! 

The Correct (And Comfortable) Way to Wear a Mask
LOOKING OUT FOR LA COUNTY TENANTS
This week, the Board of Supervisors took a number of actions to strengthen and expand the Eviction Moratorium and created a Rent Freeze in Unincorporated LA to protect tenants who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among other provisions, we amended our temporary eviction moratorium to include all renters in all cities countywide unless their cities have already adopted their own eviction protections, such as LA, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood (click here for a complete list). 

For a comprehensive breakdown of the County's rules on protecting tenants and to see additional resources, click here.
Board Actions to Protect Renters

Updated 4/4/20: 

TESTING AVAILABLE IN LA COUNTY
Drive-up mobile testing sites for COVID-19 are open across LA County and LA City. 

Through a City-County partnership, we are working on expanding this network and increasing testing capacity as quickly as possible to meet the community's needs - which are growing every day. 

You must book an appointment ahead of time online at http://coronavirus.lacity.org/Testing. Those without an appointment will not be able to be tested, and tests are limited to those who would be most at risk for severe complications from COVID-19, or those who have been exposed to a confirmed case. 

You can be tested if you are:

•65 and older and/or

•Have underlying health conditions, including:
--Diabetes
--Heart disease
--Hypertension
--Chronic lung disease
--Moderate to severe asthma
--People who are immunocompromised, including as a result of cancer treatment; and/or

•Have been subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period because they have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have more than 7 days of the 2-week quarantine period remaining.

If you meet these criteria, please sign up, and get more info at http://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing  

Updated on 4/1/20: 


There is no question that dealing with this virus is definitely taking a toll on our collective mental health.

During these difficult times, the LA County Department of Mental Health is available for those who are struggling to cope, whether you have been previously diagnosed with mental illness or are just now experiencing symptoms. For help, please call 800-854-7771 or text “LA” to 741741.

Be kind to one another, and be there for one another. We will get through this, together.
 
Help is a click away



FINALLY... SOME GOOD NEWS.

Going stir crazy at home? Kids need to be entertained? So much of what we love about living in LA is having amazing places to visit, and now, you can experience it all right in your own home! 

🦒 Follow LA Zoo’s social media for fun facts, virtual tours, and stunning wildlife 

🌌 See the stars in your own backyard with the Griffith Observatory’s Weekly Sky Report 

🎭 Raise the curtain on your home stage with LA Opera’s Family Opera Time 

📚 Join LA County Library for Story Time live at 11 am and 3 pm on Facebook 

🎨 Watch short films, exhibition walkthroughs, and documentaries with LACMA@Home

🐠 Learn with the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Aquarium Online Academy


From 3/19/20: 
Dear friends and community partners,
 
On behalf of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and our staff at the West/Metro LA Office, we hope you (and your team/clients/constituents) are staying dry, warm, and healthy. I am attaching FAQs (including a link to below), “What You Need to Know” Infographic (including a link below), Cover Your Cough handout, and Handwashing Steps handout to this email.
 
If you go to the publichealth.lacounty.gov website, a pop up will appear where you can subscribe to updates, which I strongly recommend. Here are some helpful links as well:
 
Department of Public Health’s dedicated page to COVID-19 information: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/
There is information for:
  • specific populations like schools, colleges, families, event organizers, healthcare professions, businesses, faith based orientations, homeless shelters, and many others
  • what to do if you’ve been exposed, how to cope with stress, and cleaning tips
  • recent news and updates
 
FAQs for COVID-19: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/FAQ.pdf
What You Need to Know Infographic: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/CoronavirusInfographicEnglish.pdf
Today’s press release: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/phcommon/public/media/mediapubhpdetail.cfm?prid=2262
 
Please know that our office is available to you and your community members via email or telephone. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
 
Contact:
Fernando Morales, District Director
(213) 974-3333