WATCH: Mayor Garcetti Mandates Monthly Coronavirus Testing At Every Nursing Home In LA County
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today rolled out an emergency order mandating coronavirus testing for all residents, workers and contractors at every skilled nursing facility in L.A. County every month.
The mayor said that L.A. is the first city in the country to put forth such a mandate.
Operators at nursing homes will be able to request testing kits from the city's Emergency Operations Center. The city will also provide trained personnel to set up these tests.
While the order does require all nursing facilities to provide the tests, it does not require all residents, employees or contractors to take one.
"If we can get this right, it is another step forward in the work that we can collectively do to see a day when part of our county and cities will re-open," he said.
There are currently about 800,000 Los Angeles residents over the age of 60, 80,000 of whom live below the poverty line.
The county will also expand its senior meals program, which is staffed by more than 130 disaster service workers in partnership with Everytable. The program will provide meals to a total of 12,000 seniors, up from 5,000 last week.
This is in addition to the plan announced by Governor Newsom today, to provide meals to seniors from local restaurants, who will be reimbursed by FEMA.
"Bottom line, we care about you," Garcetti said. "If you're a senior living in a skilled nursing home facility or whether your a senior just stuck at home, not sure when your next meal is going to be, we are here to say we love you, we support you, we will feed you, and we will protect you."
More info from today:
- As of today, we now have 33 testing sites in Los Angeles; over 106,000 people have been tested at those sites
- In the U.S., about 150,000 tests are conducted a day; testing in L.A. County now accounts for about 10% of the national tests given on any single day, even though we make up just 3% of America's population
- The number of Angelenos being admitted into hospitals has started to stabilize. As a county, between 200 and 300 new people are being admitted to the hospital per day; Garcetti said this a "good number to stay under our capacity."
- A union deal will now allow janitorial and custodial staff, many of whom are contractors, to keep their jobs as part of California's work-sharing program. Employers will be able to reduce hours but still allow workers to apply for unemployment to make up for lost hours.
"It [feels like] summer, and I know what that does to us. Our primal natures want to get out. The vast majority of Angelenos, though, will be at home this weekend. And unless you're in a critical job, please stay at home, no matter what the temptations are, no matter how badly we want to go out, the beaches remain closed, our trails remain closed, you cannot play on playgrounds, you cannot go and play on basketball or tennis or golf courses. We need to stay at home. And we need to do this to keep everyone safe. We can't let one weekend reverse a month of work that you have invested in."
In answer to a question about enforcement, the mayor said the city would not issue fines or other forms of punishment for violators. He asked, though, that everyone cooperate for the greater good.
To put it blunty, "If you go out and hit the beaches and the trails, the safer-at-home orders will last longer, more people will be sick, and more will die."