Garcetti: Stay-Home Order Has No End Date, But More Openings And Relief Coming
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti clarified tonight that the city's stay-at-home order has no fixed end date but that restrictions will continue to be lifted gradually in the coming weeks and months.
He also announced expanded child care for emergency frontline workers and new programs to make it easier for people to get out and about while maintaining safe physical distancing. You can watch the full address above.
IS WE IS OR IS WE AIN'T SHUT DOWN?
The current order had been set to expire on May 15 and earlier communication from the county and city suggested that it was being extended through July. In fact, the order is now in place until further notice.
But in what some might interpret as "let's have our cake and eat it too" messaging, Garcetti said he did not expect the shutdown to last until July.
"So no, we won't be shut down for three more months. That's not what I heard. That's not what I expect. It's not what I hope," he said.
(This came hours after L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer apologized for comments made Tuesday that she conceded had been “confusing.”)
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Instead, the city will continue to gradually lift the restrictions in place under its "Safer L.A." order. Already today, it was announced that retail businesses that qualify can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. And Garcetti boasted about the now-open beaches "that fill our souls, that remind us of what's so beautiful here in Los Angeles, and give us hope." Just remember: no sunbathing — stay active and keep moving by swimming, running, or generally moving about.
Tomorrow, Garcetti said, you will also be able to visit tennis and pickleball courts (yes, we had to look it up too), archery ranges, equestrian centers, model airplane areas and community gardens.
But, of course, you should now have your mask with you at all times whenever you leave your home, Garcetti said, and it is still "safer at home." You can walk around without your mask, and exercise, and take some fresh air, but only if you don't come close to or pass anyone on the street who's not part of your household. When that happens, cover your face. The mandate extends to everyone but children or those with a health condition that could make it difficult or harmful for them to wear a mask.
All of this depends on the public health indicators continuing to improve. If deaths start to jump up again, all bets may be off.
"This is really tough work, and I want to remind you this is about saving the lives of people we know. It pisses me off when I hear people saying, 'Oh those are just old people,' because you know that so many of the people that are dying are our parents and our grandparents and our neighbors."
CICLAVIA EVERY DAY?
With all those pedestrians now being encouraged to get active outdoors, another of the mayor's announcements could help.
Garcetti said the city and neighborhood councils have a plan in the works to close streets to vehicular traffic, giving pedestrians more space to roam without bumping into each other.
As soon as tomorrow, the city could share an online form where people can nominate streets for pedestrian-only access, so stay tuned.
CHILD CARE FOR EMERGENCY WORKERS
Low-wage hospital support staff such as janitors had already been included in free child care services from the city and county. Tonight, Garcetti said he was extending those services to emergency workers, too.
The county has 18 rec centers offering child care services, including supervision, academic assistance and recreational activities for children 6-14 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
For more info, visit coronavirus.lacity.org/childcare.
BREAKING NEWS: GARCETTI GOT A HAIRCUT
Our reporter Emily Guerin asked the tough question, to which the mayor replied:
"I did get a haircut. It was from my wife. And I ordered on Amazon some electric shears. I've only had one cut. As I joked a few weeks ago, I'm told it's not that straight in the back, but I think she did a pretty good job on the sides and the front."
The mayor said his advice was to avoid these services until we get through Phase 2.