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Garcetti Opens Some Beach Lots And Bike Paths To Prep For Memorial Day, But Says Don't 'Go Crazy' And Stay Out All Weekend

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that he would be opening up city parking lots at Cabrillo and Venice beaches, as well as city bike paths. This comes shortly after the county announced the opening of county-run bike paths.

The city will also be opening paths and parking lots at partial capacity at Will Rogers, Zuma, Dockweiler and Malibu Surfrider beaches. The beaches are still only open for "active use," now with the addition of biking. Concessions and food sales, the Venice Pier, as well as Venice's outdoor sports facilities will remain closed.

"We want to prevent crowds, so even during this holiday weekend, don't gather with others or sunbathe, don't play group sports," he said.

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ADDITIONAL OPENINGS

The city is also reopening "recreation zones," meaning parks and walking paths, along the L.A. River, starting on May 31.

The mayor asked anyone walking or biking on the river path to socially distance and wear face coverings.

RETAIL UPDATES

The mayor confirmed that indoor malls will be reopening for curbside pick up, with masks and distancing, echoing what county officials said earlier today.

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"We've conducted regular inspections of curbside retail efforts in recent days. We've seen excellent compliance, a surefire sign that Angelenos are following the rules, making responsible choices and adapting to this new reality. And I thank you for that," he said.

THE CURVE

Garcetti said that over the past three weeks, we've seen about 6,500 new cases and 300 deaths per week. He said this constitutes "a somewhat stabilizing but still fragile curve."

The mayor added that on Tuesday, June 1, the city will open a new testing site at Dodger Stadium, where they will be able to test 6,000 people per day.

He addressed the testing backlog that the city's been experiencing and said this "coming" week, we will get to a 30-hour turnaround time for testing (he said the current five or six day wait is "too long").

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JULY 4 IS NOT A THING

To clarify a comment that County Supervisor Kathryn Barger made earlier this week about L.A. reopening by July 4, the mayor said what she meant was it would be nice to open by July 4, "but nobody said the county is planning to quote-unquote open up all the doors to everything on July 4."

TO GO OUT OR NOT TO GO OUT?

In response to our question about the conflicting message the public is getting about parks, beaches and trails opening, while also being advised by public health officials to stay at home, and avoid going out unless absolutey necessary, the mayor said "we've never been fully closed."

He said we should get comfortable living in a "gray area" between being open and closed for a while. Here's his advice (warning: it's very vague):

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"Some are more comfortable living further into those shadows and taking an abundance of caution. That's smart. We say physical distance whenever you can, wear your mask when you're out in public and come in contact with people, wash your hands. And, you know, continue to make sure that there's space between you and other people."

Of course, this is the same advice we've heard again and again. Garcetti acknowledged that with more reopening, more and more people will be venturing out, but he does not want to start enforcing or giving tickets to anyone who isn't wearing one. He said he'd prefer to have city workers give masks to those who don't have them.
"We want to turn our city employees into helpers, not into folks that are cracking down and saying okay here's a ticket for not wearing a mask... We're going to continue those three E's of Education, Encouragement and Enforcement, but enforcement will be in very rare cases for, you know, businesses that are clearly endangering people, people who are flouting the law way before things are permissible at the state level. Those are times to bring enforcement, but really it's education and encouragement."

He added that everyone should make an individual assessment of the risks they want to take by going out.

"I think it's okay to take a step forward, but don't dash forward, don't go crazy and stay out all weekend," he said.

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