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You Have To Wear A Face Mask When Shopping In LA Starting Friday, Mayor Garcetti Announces

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Face masks will be required for both shoppers and many non-medical essential employees, including at grocery stores, starting this Friday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday evening.

Here's everything else you need to know from the mayor's daily update:

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Starting Thursday night at midnight, businesses will be able to refuse service to customers who aren't wearing face masks, Garcetti said. Workers in grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, hotels, taxis, rideshare vehicles, and construction sites, among other non-medical essential businesses, will have to start wearing face masks as well.

These employers are required to provide face masks to employees or reimburse those employees for purchasing their own. They will be required to enforce social distancing for both the public and employees, and provide clean restrooms to their employees and allow those employees to wash their hands every 30 minutes.

Garcetti said that the plan wasn't to arrest and fine people who aren't wearing face masks. But citations may be issued if workers aren't wearing face masks. The city is relying on self-enforcement in 99% of cases, Garcetti said. He compared it to a citywide decision to start jaywalking tomorrow, saying we wouldn't have enough law enforcement to keep that from happening.

As far as acquiring face masks, Garcetti referenced the L.A. Protects site, which links to businesses selling face them. He also noted that there are people offering face masks for sale online, as well as roadside sellers offering them now as well.

It's recommended to wear face masks in spaces such as stores, Garcetti said, but you don't need to wear one while walking in the neighborhood by yourself.


There were 550 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, Garcetti said — a 9% increase. It's the third-highest number of new cases in a single day.

There were 22 deaths in the city — the city's second highest in a day, bringing L.A.'s total to 169. That comes on the worst day of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, killing at least 1,632 Americans today, Garcetti noted.

The numbers of new cases are encouraging, Garcetti said, because we've moved into single-digit percentage increases in new cases.

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"We don't want to see any increase, and we can't wait for the day when we actually see a decrease," Garcetti said.

Garcetti noted that there have been a disproportionate number of coronavirus deaths in the African American community.

The city has 1,406 hospital beds available, including 258 ICU beds, Garcetti said. The city also has 1,010 ventilators available, he added.


Anyone showing coronavirus symptoms is now eligible to be tested, Garcetti noted. He encouraged anyone who's turned away to check back, as 15% to 20% of people aren't showing up for their appointments, so spots may become available.

Social distancing is in place at the same time as some of the holiest times of the year in multiple faiths, Garcetti noted, including Passover, Easter, and Ramadan coming in just two weeks.

Everyone would benefit from more uniformity in how the nation deals with coronavirus, Garcetti said, as well as at the global level.

Garcetti said that, while others have compared the current coronavirus crisis to Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 attacks, that's not quite right. The reason is that it's not just one day, it's a problem that gets worse every day.

"Each day you stay at home, you cripple this virus a little bit more," Garcetti said.


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