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Mayor Garcetti: LA Coronavirus Impact On Track To Be Where NYC Is In 6 Days

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The coronavirus problem in L.A. will get worse, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a Thursday press conference. If the current rate of increase continues, L.A. will be where New York is now in six days when it comes to cases per capita, Garcetti said. If it increases at the slower rate of the day before, that would happen in 12 days.

It is likely we will see scenes like those in the currently overwhelmed New York City medical system here in Los Angeles, according to Garcetti.

"It's the most haunting images any leader could see, and it's difficult for me to imagine that it won't happen here," Garcetti said. "That's one of the most difficult sentences I've ever said, but no matter how well we respond — and I thank people for stepping up early, and I hope that flattens the curve — there is no place in America that will not be overwhelmed in terms of the number of patients who need ICU and other hospital beds, and how many we have in this country. There is no place that won't be overwhelmed by needing more ventilators and not having enough."

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Garcetti promised to share projections for the city from experts starting Friday. Thursday's update comes a day after Garcetti projected that L.A.'s stay-at-home order would last until at least May.

The city is planning what it would take to turn the L.A. Convention Center over to the county for use by local hospitals, and Garcetti noted that some hospitals want to set up a tent closer to their facilities for patients in case they get bad and need to be in the hospital.

The eviction moratorium for both residential and commercial tenants announced earlier this week may be extended beyond Apr. 19, Garcetti said, as needed. He encouraged tenants to pay if possible, while also asking landlords to have a heart.

Parks will remain open for walking and jogging starting Friday, Garcetti said, but all park amenities — like skate parks and tennis courts — will be closed to discourage people gathering.

Garcetti announced "L.A. Protects," a new program where the city is partnering with the local garment industry. The goal: produce 5 million masks over the next few weeks.

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It's too soon to know the economic effects on city employees will be, Garcetti said, though he noted that no layoffs are planned.

Garcetti expressed his thanks to the president and the vice president for the U.S. Navy ship Mercy, heading to L.A. He said that the hospital ship will be the largest hospital in the city once it's here, though it won't be used for COVID-19 patients.

A new website to help people get free or low-cost Internet access during the coronavirus outbreak was announced, available at Coronavirus.LAcity.org/GetConnected.

Since the stay-at-home orders went into place, crime across the city is down, Garcetti said.

SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

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