Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that L.A.’s worst days are still ahead during the coronavirus emergency, reminding residents that the lockdown on all but essential services in the city could last two months or more.
“It’s difficult for me to see any scenario where this is less than two months,” he said at his daily evening briefing from City Hall.
He touted L.A.’s residents for their essential full stop to obey the “Safer at Home” order that has blanketed the region. But he added: “We’re seeing in place that relax even a little bit it will spike right back up.”
Garcetti also trumpeted the immediate effect Congress’ proposed $2 trillion economic kickstart will have on LA:
$400 million to bolster the city’s airports.
$700 million to Metro for the region’s transit systems
Tens of millions in community development block grants that include aid for the unemployed
$32 million for homeless aid grants
$1,200 per adult
and $500 per child
The White House and Senate leaders reached an agreement Wednesday on the spending bill, but it still awaits full Congresssional approval.
The homeless aid dollars, Garcetti said, could go boost efforts to turn existing hotel rooms into available housing. He also floated the possibility that regional homeless providers could also work with the funds to get COVID-19 testing on the streets in homeless areas.
Garcetti also said the popular Runyon Canyon Park and trail at the top of the Hollywood Hills was closing, in an effort to prevent crowds from gathering, thus inhibiting the spread of the virus.
The mayor said that LAPD will not give tickets to drivers with expired licenses or registrations, nor will the city shut off water and power during the emergency period — or impose late fees for payment.
And, as the National Guard has been tapped elsewhere, he reminded residents that the military has not been officially mobilized in the city. He said, when that that time comes, he will let residents know.
Garcetti’s comments come as the toll of the virus continues to rise in the city and county. Public Health officials launched a new quarantine and self-isolation order on Wednesday, March 25, requiring anyone who has been tested for the new coronavirus or exposed to a confirmed case to stay in their homes.
Three more people COVID-19 deaths were reported in the county Wednesday. All of the patients were over 65 years old with underlying health problems. Those deaths brought the county’s total to 13 overall.
Officials reported 138 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the county’s total to 799.