UPDATE: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an emergency targeted safer-at-home order for the city of L.A. late Wednesday evening, effective immediately. The order mirrors that of L.A. County and requires all residents to remain in their homes, ceases the operation of non-essential businesses that require in-person attendance by workers and prohibits gatherings with those outside of one’s household. However, there is a long list of exemptions, including healthcare operations, grocery stores and restaurants providing takeout or delivery service. Beaches, parks, trails, tennis courts and golf courses will also remain open.
Earlier on Wednesday, Garcetti delivered a COVID-19 response update, telling residents that “it’s time to hunker down” as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the county. “Cancel everything,” he advised in his first public address in a week.
Garcetti delivered dire statistics, saying that in the last month, L.A. County’s daily COVID-19 infections have tripled. He said there are currently just 86 ICU beds available in Los Angeles County.
“Our hospitalizations have more than tripled and are at a new peak. And, our deaths have nearly doubled, and they continue to rise,” Garcetti said. “These numbers don’t reflect last week’s record breaking numbers, they don’t reflect yet the ‘Thanksgiving effect’ of time spent with families, when many people were gathering and traveling in defiance of public health warnings.”
He also noted that California has one of the fewest hospital beds per capita in comparison to other states, meaning that if cases continue to rise, hospital space will soon run out.
“If cases continue on this pathway… the county expects that we will run out of hospital beds here in Los Angeles by Christmastime,” Garcetti said, adding that the condition of L.A. is “as dire as it was in March in the earliest days of this pandemic.”
In order to stop the spread, Garcetti encouraged L.A. residents to follow the stay-at-home order that took effect on Monday.
“My message couldn’t be simpler: It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything, and if it isn’t essential, don’t do it,” Garcetti said. “Don’t meet up with others outside your household, don’t host a gathering, don’t attend a gathering. And following our targeted safer-at-home order, if you’re able to stay home, stay home.”
Garcetti also announced that out-of-work restaurant employees would be able to get a one-time $800 payment from the Mayor’s Fund. Meanwhile, some restaurant owners applauded a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling Wednesday that the L.A. County health department must present the evidence it used to ban outdoor dining. Pasadena is continuing outdoor dining, while Beverly Hills is opposing the ban.
The mayor’s strongly worded remarks come as California governor Gavin Newsom warns that the state is on the brink of a wider stay-at-home order.
Watch the full update below.
We're facing a difficult winter ahead, COVID-19 cases are rising across the country and we're at a serious juncture. Every action we take now has critical consequences. Tonight I'm briefing you on the latest pandemic and our response. https://t.co/lXXNo7xJ0s
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) December 3, 2020