FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Los Angeles. Before he cut the $100,000 checks, Garcetti brought the Democratic Party chairmen from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada backstage to meet late night television host Jimmy Kimmel and superstar hip-hop producer DJ Khaled. Garcetti may not be the best-known 2020 presidential prospect, but he will not be forgotten by those who lead Democratic politics in the states most responsible for picking the party’s next presidential nominee. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
It looks like it’s getting real in the City of Angels.
ABC 7 reported that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently ordered new restrictions on businesses operating in the city. He issued an executive order requiring the closures of several types of businesses, including movie theaters, bars, restaurants, and gyms. The new restrictions became effective on Sunday at midnight.
The restrictions on restaurants prohibit them from opening their interior dining rooms, but they can still serve food by delivery, takeout, and drive-thru. Companies like Starbucks have already adopted such measures voluntarily in other states.
“This is an absolutely critical moment in our city’s history,” Garcetti explained. “Our decisions will determine the fate of loved ones. Our decisions and actions will determine the length of this crisis, the damage done to our economy and ultimately how quickly we will get back up on our feet.”
The restrictions, which will be in place at least until March 31, do not apply to churches and other religious facilities. But the mayor has encouraged them to do so voluntarily.
Garcetti implored residents to take action on their own to prevent the spread of the virus. “We are all first responders. This isn’t just someone else’s responsibility, but it is the responsibility of each one of us. Your actions matter and they can and will save lives,” he said.
The city’s government is also putting a temporary halt on evictions for residential tenants during the pandemic. It has also closed recreation centers, libraries, and the zoo has already been shut down.
Local school districts have decided to close for this week. The mayor stated that the districts would open 60 centers where parents and children can get food.
The mayor also cautioned against stockpiling and hoarding food from grocery stores. “You hoarding or buying too much is putting (others) at danger as well. So shop. Food is coming. We’re working with groceries to ensure it continues coming,” he insisted.
The number of infections in California has risen to 335, which represents a 14% increase from the day before. So far, the state has experienced six deaths related to the coronavirus. In L.A. County alone, there have been 69 cases.
So far, the United States has seen more than 3,200 cases with 62 deaths.
Los Angeles is not the only city to order closures of particular types of businesses. In fact, the governors of Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington have ordered bars, restaurants, and other companies to close during the crisis.
It can be expected that other states and cities will follow suit as the pandemic continues. On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the American public is not practicing social distancing to the degree that is necessary to slow the spread of the illness. On Sunday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a statement urging Americans to “cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.”
Previously, the agency advised that people should avoid crowds of 250 people or more. It seems that the risk of the virus spreading may have increased. Or perhaps the CDC, as well as other experts, are playing it safe. Either way, it seems that the battle against the Coronavirus is far from over.
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