Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered residents to stay in their homes Wednesday as the city experiences a spike in coronavirus cases.
Garcetti addressed the city’s 4 million residents on Wednesday in a press conference, suggesting that the situation had reached a crisis.
“My message couldn’t be simpler,” Garcetti said. “It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it.”
“Our City is now close to a devastating tipping point, beyond which the number of hospitalized patients would start to overwhelm our hospital system, in turn risking needless suffering and death,” the order stated. “These unfortunate facts about the spread of COVID-19 in our City mean that we must resume some of the more restrictive measures we instituted in the Spring.”
Acording to KTLA 5 Morning News anchor Frank Buckley, a spokesperson for the mayor said the order is “identical” to the county order that took effect Monday.
“The two orders are identical, and the process of publishing the official document on our website is a formality that occurs each time the order is revised.” It isn’t clear why the mayor didn’t mention that the city’s NotifyLA system would be used to issue the updated order. 5/5
— Frank Buckley (@FrankBuckleyTV) December 3, 2020
The new order from Garcetti differs from the county order in the number of exceptions provided, The opening line of text in the order stated, “all persons living within the City of Los Angeles are hereby ordered to remain in their homes.”
Some of the businesses that are exempt from that language include liquor stores, cannabis dispensaries, indoor swap meets, tanning salons, and massage venues, grocery stores, gas stations, banks. The order also exempts “essential” workers.
Restaurants will be forced to forego in-person dining and can only operate through pick-up or delivery under Garcetti’s new order.
The new year brings hope –– for vaccines and for stopping this pandemic.
But here’s the truth: we’re in for a long, hard winter.
As the worst hits us, stay home as much as you can. Cancel any non-essential activities.
Hunker down, L.A. We’ll get through this together. pic.twitter.com/6TkVsTfPzP
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) December 3, 2020
While there are certain exemptions, Garcetti is urging people to stay inside and not travel.
“Don’t meet up with others outside your household. Don’t host a gathering. Don’t attend a gathering,” he added. “And following our targeted Safer at Home order, if you’re able to stay home, stay home.”
Garcetti’s order also limits almost all social gatherings of people from more than a single household but exempts religious services and protests, which are protected by the constitution.
In his address, Garcetti pleaded with residents of the city to “just stay home.”
According to Deadline, “health officials confirmed 7,593 new infections in the county, blowing past the previous high of 6,124 seen last week. The daily test positivity rate on Wednesday was 12 percent, up from 7 percent just over one week ago.” Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 5,987 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 414,185.
“If cases continue on this pathway, if they continue to increase at the pace that we’ve seen, the county expects we will run out of hospital beds here in Los Angeles by Christmastime,” Garcetti said.
COVID-19 Daily Update:
December 2, 2020
New Cases: 5,987 (414,185 to date)
New Deaths: 40 (7,740 to date)
Current Hospitalizations: 2,439 pic.twitter.com/wQBT0j5pFm
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) December 3, 2020
A fear over the potential shortage of hospital beds has floated throughout the county for some time over the last week. Christina Ghaly, the Los Angles Director of Health and Human Services, echoed those fears, saying “We will have a shortage of ICU beds over the next 2-4 weeks.”
“We’re now beginning to see a sharp increase in daily deaths,” Ghaly said. “Because we know these deaths reflect case counts from a month ago, as cases continue to increase, we should all be extremely distressed about what this means for daily deaths.”
A total of 40 new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the county on Wednesday, bringing the total to date to 7,740. According to Los Angeles Public Health, 2,439 people are currently hospitalized.
“We know that this number is a lagging indicator, and we expect it to go up,” Garcetti said of the newly reported coronavirus deaths.
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