LA Will Hold Off On (Re)Closing More Businesses ... For Now
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said today that he will hold off on re-closing more businesses this week, even though the city is "still headed in the wrong direction" when it comes to handling the spread of COVID-19.
Garcetti added the caveat that the numbers today are a result of our actions two to three weeks ago, so we need to see if the situation improves now that bars, indoor dining and a host of other services are closed again. "Today we are holding off on any additional closures ... to see if our recent closures are working," he said.
This week, L.A. had three record days of more cases than we've ever seen before, the mayor said; each of those days surpassed the previous day's record.
"This is an extremely dangerous situation," he warned.
The mayor said we are still at an orange threat level, on the verge of red, as we were earlier this week. A red threat level would mean reverting back to a complete shutdown.
WEAR THE F***ING MASK
OK, the mayor didn't use foul language, but we would like to. Garcetti cited today's New York Times graphic, showing that Los Angeles hit an average of 56% of residents wearing masks. He said we need to do better.
"Robert Redfield, the Director of the CDC, said that we could bring this epidemic under control in 4-to-8 weeks if just everybody would wear a mask," he said. "Every Angelino must wear a mask. No mask, no service — and I cannot say this enough."
In an effort to get the message out, L.A. is partnering with artist Shepard Fairey to encourage proper mask etiquette in public spaces and businesses. Anyone can download and print the poster here.
The mayor said that over the past two weeks, the city has received 549 complaints of businesses that were not following the reopening guidelines set forth by the state, city and county.
"It is our goal to educate, to encourage before we have to turn to law enforcement," he said. "But as you've seen, we have not been afraid to do that, to refer criminal cases to our city attorney's office to file those cases, and to make sure that businesses that are violating public health orders are held accountable."
SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF
Garcetti announced that the city is joining L.A. County to offer new grants (not loans) to small businesses and non-profits as part of a $10 million cash assistance program. The goal is to serve businesses who did not receive federal PPP loans, for whatever reason, be it a lack of resources or staff or other language/application barriers.
The grants will be awared in six funding rounds. To apply visit lacovidfund.org. The next round of applications will open on Monday.
EMERGENCY RENTER RELIEF
So far, more than 200,000 people have applied for the renter relief program. The phones are open until 10 p.m. and online applications are open until midnight tonight. Apply here.
As of today, about 48.2% of Los Angeles residents have NOT filled out the 2020 census which can be accessed at my2020census.gov.
The mayor did not take questions from reporters today.