Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti updated Angelenos Sunday evening online and on television about the city’s latest efforts to curtail the COVID-19 virus, which included more public area closures as a means of social distancing.
Garcetti told the public he understood how fast the changes have been coming because of the coronavirus.
“I hope everyone has taken a moment to breathe this weekend,” Garcetti said. “I love LA,” he added.
He reminded people to keep social distancing, to stand at least six feet away from other people. It’s a technique, he said, that will not only keep you safe but it will protect your love ones and others as well. He also told people not to take risks with their health. “Don’t mess around,” he said. “This is too important.”
Garcetti says the city is launching a portal to be rolled out in the next couple of days designed to test the most vulnerable Angelenos — 65 and over with underlying health conditions, who are showing symptoms. These residents will be prioritized to be tested, and will need to be able to prove identification to get those tests.
The city, he said, has ordered masks for medical personnel and the city’s first responders.
He also thanked President Donal Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for ordering hospital ship, Mercy, to the Port of Los Angeles. It’s home port is normally San Diego, he said. The ship will provide an extra 1,000 beds to house COVID-19 victims for treatment.
Garcetti also announced that in consultation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the city is closing the Venice Beach Boardwalk, beach parking lots and all organized group sports, saying that the six-feet rule is in place to save lives.
The mayor also said the city is moving the homeless into rec centers and hopes to have 42 centers open for housing the homeless. He said the city is facing a shortage of medical personnel to staff the centers, which, is critical to housing them safely.
He also said the city is setting up a fund to provide childcare for health workers, assistance for the needy and meals for seniors. The goal, he said, is to raise $25 million as soon as possible for the fund.