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Mayor Garcetti Says Angelenos Are Doing A 'Great Job' Bringing Down COVID-19 Numbers

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti live-streamed his media briefing today — as he has since the start of stay home order. Garcetti delivered an overaching message that Los Angeles in a considerably better place now in the fight against COVID-19 than in early July, when hospitalizations and cases surged.

GOOD NEWS:

  • L.A. County now ranks 19th out of 58 counties in California in cases per 100,000 residents. He said: "Considering our density and the poverty and other challenges that we faced long before this, with pre existing conditions and health vulnerabilities, this is good news."
  • According to New York Times data, Garcetti said, the L.A. metro area ranks 37th in the nation in cases per capita. "We have fewer deaths per 100,000 residents than almost all of our peer cities nationally," he said.
  • The city of L.A. had 100 fewer deaths in August than we did in July.
  • Hospitalization numbers now are the lowest they've been since early April. "In just the last five weeks alone, we've cut our hospitalizations, by more than half," Garcetti added.
  • The mayor said the city's goal is to have fewer than seven cases per 100,000 people, or a testing positivity rate between 5-8%.
  • Right now, we have 13 cases per 100,000 residents and a seven-day average testing positivity rate of about 5%. That still puts us in the highest tier, according to the state's new reopening framework.
The mayor thanked residents for doing their part to bring these numbers back down and prevent another surge.
"I share these numbers with you because you often wonder, is what I'm doing making a difference?," Garcetti said. "And it is. You are doing a great job."

He noted, however, that we have to stay on track and not forget that the virus is still very much with us. He urged everyone not to have parties or BBQ's with family members this Labor Day weekend:
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"Do not confuse though these few reopenings with going back to normal, that's not the case. Last time there were some reopenings I think some folks drew the wrong message — that the virus was behind us, that we could let down our guard, go back to normal. That's false, it's foolish, and as we learned, it can be fatal."

SCHOOL UPDATES:

On September 14, L.A. County schools can open on-campus service for small "cohorts" of students who need extra learning support.

These include children with Individualized Education Plans, English as a second language students and those who need assessments or specialized in-school services. The cohorts will have 12 students or less.

The mayor said the county also announced that it will not offer waivers for elementary schools to get special permission to open.

FIREFIGHTER KIDNAPPED

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Unrelated to COVID-19, Garcetti said that an L.A. firefighter named Frank Aguilar was "violently" kidnapped in Baja, Mexico. The mayor told those listening that the news on Aguilar broke right before tonight's update.

The mayor said is working on resolving the situation with the Mexican Consulate and the State Department.

He did not have further details about the kidnapping at this time.

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