Mayor Garcetti: Face Masks Required At Midnight; Shelter Animals Finding Homes Is 'Off The Charts' Numbers
Mayor Eric Garcetti tonight announced new rapid testing for those in assisted living facilities, talked about the mandatory face mask requirements going into effect at midnight, and provided other updates on the city's response to the COVID-19. You can watch the video above and read the highlights of his daily brieing below.
CORONAVIRUS TESTING & WHEN WE CAN LIFT RESTRICTIONS
The mayor said that the city hopes to, in the next few days, have a better idea of the timing for lifting some coronavirus restrictions, based on what they're seeing around the world.
More than 4,000 people were tested for coronavirus in L.A. County today, which is a new record, Garcetti said. Some 30,000 people have been tested so far, with the aim to test 60,000 by the end of next week.
Garcetti said that the city cannot regulate the prices being charged by private companies for tests, but added that he hopes that the national government will either:
- Make tests free for everyone
- Or, at least, free for those whose employers won't pay for them.
Following statistics showing a higher rate of death from coronavirus among the African American community, Garcetti said they have doubled the testing capacity at Crenshaw Christian Center in South L.A..
THE LATEST L.A. CITY CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
- 227 new positive coronavirus cases in the city
- 3,587 total cases — a 7% increase from Wednesday
- 25 new deaths — the third highest daily toll so far
- 223 total deaths — a 13% increase since yesterday.
FACE MASKS REQUIRED STARTING AT MIDNIGHT
Face coverings become mandatory at midnight tonight, with Garcetti saying that both shoppers and workers will have to wear face coverings at any open:
In addition, face coverings are required for both drivers and riders in rideshares and taxis, and for delivery service and construction workers.
Garcetti outlined these new rules hours after workers at 30 fast food restaurants across California walked off the job to demand safety and health protections from their employers. The mayor reminded employers that his new city ordinance requires protections for workers, including face coverings.
HIGH ANIMAL ADOPTIONS & FOSTERING
The city is consolidating its animal service care centers, Garcetti said. Starting Monday, the West Valley and North Central centers will be closed, with the animals there moved to one of the city's other four locations. The reason this is possible, Garcetti said, is that last month, 307 animals were placed in foster care, 919 were put in homes, and 752 were placed with rescue partners — numbers Garcetti described as "off the chart." He said that they encourage people to adopt, though he noted that there is a long line of people who want to foster.
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CALLS
The LAPD has reported an increase in domestic violence calls, and approximately 90 victims have been turned away from domestic violence shelters since the pandemic began, Garcetti said. People are typically housed there for 30-45 days, but people aren't able to move through there into different living situations. Rihanna's foundation and Twitter's Jack Dorsey are co-funding a $4.2 million grant to provide shelter, meals, and counseling for 90 domestic violence victims per week for 10 weeks, Garcetti said, expressing his thanks.
INCREASED GARBAGE PICK-UP
As people stay at home, many have seen greater amounts of garbage piling up in those homes. Garcetti announced that the city will temporarily be providing additional garbage and recycling pick-ups from the city's 750,000 single-family homes, as well as apartments serviced by the city's sanitation department. If you have extra garbage, you can meet the sanitation trucks, refill your black and blue bins, and the workers will take that as well for no additional charge.
RESOURCES FOR HOMELESS AND THE ELDERLY
The city has ordered 35,000 masks that they can distribute to homeless people, Garcetti said. The 300-plus sanitation stations for the homeless are moving from being restocked weekly to being checked daily.
Garcetti announced that they are deploying a rapid mobile testing team to assisted living facilities. Those facilities can request testing at coronavirus.lacity.org/assistedliving. More than 100 employees and seniors were tested Wednesday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund nursing home, following news of COVID-related deaths there, with another 60 tested Thursday.
CELEBRATING HEALTH CARE WORKERS
To celebrate health care workers, Garcetti asked city residents to open up a door or window at 8 p.m. and applaud health care workers. The city will be lighting up buildings blue in their honor, including L.A. City Hall, the L.A. Convention Center, LAX, L.A. Live, the Coliseum, the Music Center, Staples Center, and Banc of California Stadium.
MORE CORONAVIRUS UPDATES
With Easter this weekend and Passover ongoing, Garcetti said that while people shouldn't gather, he encouraged people to connect with services online.
Last Thursday, the city began distributing $1.2 million in grocery gift cards — in four days, they were all distributed, with 10,000 families helped, Garcetti said.
Garcetti encouraged people to access county resources if they need help accessing food, including food delivery from CalFresh.
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