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LA County Joins Eviction Moratorium, 50 New Cases Reported

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Today Los Angeles County is enacting a temporary moratorium on evictions in unincorporated areas retroactive to March 4.

The order prohibits all residential and commercial evictions for nonpayment of rent, late fees and related costs due to a loss of business or household income caused by COVID-19. It applies to all no-fault evicitions other than those "necessary for health and safety reasons" and lasts through May 31, said county Supervisor Hilda Solis at an early afternoon press conference.

During the period covered, residents and businesses will also be protected from utility shutoffs and late fees.

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Residents and businesses will have up to six months after May 31 to pay any back rent owed.

The new order comes as 50 new cases of coronavirus infection were announced.

L.A. County Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said all positive cases have been isolated and anyone who has been in contact with those individuals are being asked to quarantine.

Ferrer stressed that the public can expect to see new cases in the coming days and weeks as more people are infected and the county increases its ability to test, and that these new cases do not mean that social distancing is not working:

"If you look across the world, it generally takes between three and four weeks for us to see the fruit of our labor, so we all need to continue to do all of the social distancing measures that we've implemented and all of the requests that we've made until we start seeing that we have in fact peaked and that we start seeing less and less cases. But that will take a while."

She said the county has increased its testing capacity: the county public health lab has so far tested 206 people, commercial labs 900 people, and the CDC in Atlanta has completed 38 tests.

Ferrer also reiterated that the blanket health orders issued by the county yesterday apply across the county, not just in unincorporated areas. Pasadena and Long Beach have their own health departments, but those agencies issued similar orders. That means the orders to close bars, wineries, nightclubs, and to limit restaurants to take-out and delivery only, are in effect across the county's 88 cities.


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