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LA's Mayor Asks Why Our State (The Largest) Got The Fewest Small Business Loans, Urges People Care Of Their Mental Health

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Mayor Eric Garcetti opened today's briefing by encouraging Angelenos not to get discouraged by the new COVID-19 confirmed case count (15,140 total). The spike, he said, is due to a backlog of 734 cases that were just cleared.

"I know some of you follow these numbers as religiously as me and might be worried about the last two days in which we've seen our first four digit increases," he noted, "but I want to reassure you that this is about testing capacity expanding."

The mayor encouraged everyone, even those experiencing mild symptoms, to get tested, saying that the county is now offering next-day appointments and has the capacity to test approximately 12,000 people per day.

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MORE UPDATES FOR L.A. COUNTY:

  • A total of 663 total deaths
  • 34 testing locations
  • By the end of today county officials will have tested approximately 87,000 people. "To put this in perspective, 9,600 tests were reportedly conducted in all of California yesterday," Garcetti added.
  • This is the second day of pop-up testing on Skid Row and three mobile teams are now working in senior care facilities

LOCAL ECONOMY UPDATES

  • Tomorrow, the City council will create legislation that will create a worker retention ordinance for hospitality workers, including janitors, food service and airport workers, that will allow them to return to their jobs. "I will sign that as soon as it comes to my desk," he said. Details were not specified.
  • Garcetti expressed frustration that as the largest state in the country, California received "the fewest number of [small business] loans in the nation." That accounts for 13% of our national workforce, he said, adding that he supports our senators for increasing aid to small businesses from Washington.
  • Garcetti also voiced concern for folks in immigrant communities who have been left behind by recent loans and stimulus checks. "We need to make sure nobody is left behind when it comes to immigration," he said. "Immigrants are not a threat to America. COVID-19 is. Let me be very loud and clear." That last point is a direct reference to President Trump's tweet about the need to shut down all immigration to protect American jobs.

ADDITIONAL INFO

  • Parents should visit the county's resource page for financial assistance, free internet services, educational programs and food benefits.
  • Tonight, Garcetti will air a discussion on public health in L.A. designed for kids. Tune in via the mayor's Facebook page and on KCET at 6:30 p.m.

MENTAL HEALTH TIPS

Garcetti introduced Michelle Cauley, a local therapist and clinical social worker, to present some tips on coping.

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  • A lot of us are experiencing anticipatory anxiety right now because we're uncertain about the future, for example wondering about plans for the summer or thinking about graduation or prom (for high schoolers)
  • Some tips on how to recognize depression in children: signs of sadless, hopelessness, irritability, low energy, increased boredom, poor concentration
  • Tips on how to recognize anxiety in adults: panic attacks that feel like cardiac arrest, headaches, tension, upset stomach, fatigue, insomnia, extreme and unrealistic worry about events
  • Cauley urged anyone experiencing these symptoms to talk about it, write about their feelings, and reach out to a mental health professoinal if they are able to
  • She also recommends mindfullness meditation, journaling positive affirmations, and expressing gratitude
  • The County's Department of Mental Health has a 24-hour help line at 800-854-7771
  • LAUSD also has a help line, open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. That number is 213-241-3840
  • Anyone can text the Crisis Text Line at 7417

"I know that the isolation is real. But whatever you're feeling know that you're not alone," Garcetti said. "We're all feeling this together. And when I say that we will get through this together."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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