Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Screen Shot)

Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered news surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. There have been recent spikes in community transmission, city and county leadership are looking to handle the rising threat head-on. June 23 marked the day mobile testing sites came online, the mission is to make testing flexible and available to more people across the county.

“We recognize that we are not moving passed COVID-19, we’re just learning how to live with it.” Mayor Garcetti continued with a very straight forward message and he outlined four points: COVID-19 is still here, COVID-19 is still dangerous, Los Angeles is adding more testing, and lastly Garcetti emphasized the need for precaution. The county reported 1,260 new cases, this week we have seen a daily average of 2,000 positive reports. The total amount that have been infected is just under 90,000 in L.A. County. 1 out of 400 people have had or do have coronavirus, and they have been infectious to their close contacts.

The mayor emphasized physical distancing, in the city there were over 400 new COVID-19 cases found today. The city’s case counts reach over 49,000 reports, and there were 34 additional deaths within L.A. County. That brings the death rate to over 3,000 Angelenos, the current track record is showing an increase in transmission among younger age groups between 18-40. 40% of all new cases are from that age group, in comparison to the previous month that was only 33%. The mayor showed his concern in the new spiked and warned the community that we cannot let up.

“Each of us can be lifesavers, the flipside of this is each one of us can be killers. Folks that are spreading infection, even if it does not affect you and its important to remember, we have lost the lives of people who are 18-40 years from this coronavirus.”

Mayor Garcetti touched on the social disparities COVID-19 has exasperated, he stressed the importance of the continual means to get tested. Safety measures needs to be practiced by every member of the community. Although overall, hospitalization has been steady, there has been a slight increase in the admittance. There are still hundreds of beds open and over a thousand ventilators ready for severe patience.

“Testing has also been a critical tool, its apart of our system of keeping you safe and this is one of the best tools that we have to stop the spread of COVID-19. So as numbers go up, so must testing.”

Garcetti mandated testing to meet the heightened level of community transmission, looking to scale up testing capacity and availability immediately. There will 13,000 available tests a day, with more appointment options being added all the time. The city spent over 70-million dollars on testing. The mayor reiterated the launch of mobile testing sites that took place on June 23.

Mayor Garcetti announced the deployment of mobile testing units on Tuesday. They will be working with HACLA public Housing facilities throughout Los Angeles. The mobile testing sites visits each of the 15 HACLA locations 2-3 times, providing access to 25 thousand Angelenos who reside in public housing. With Black Americans residing in Los Angeles being highly affected by COVID-19, Garcetti described this opportunity as a “tool for equity.”

Garcetti touched on updates within renters assistance, on June 23, the county announced the extension of the eviction moratorium. It’s looking to prevent a future surge in homelessness due to the viral pandemic affecting the workforce and economy, there has been an eviction moratorium in place to ban future evictions for all residential and commercial tenants. It has been extended as of Tuesday; the eviction restriction will be in place until the end of July.

Further extensions are approved by monthly assessment, within that announcement Supervisor Hilda Solis stated, “Nobody should have to decide between paying rent or putting food on the table.” Garcetti declared 100-million dollars towards renters relief program, to help people meet their rent and small businesses stay operational. The legislation was passed on June 24, the program will put at least $2,000 within the hands of the hardest hit households. The system is looking to cover two months rent, those who have a household income is at or below 80% of the area median income are eligible.

Mayor Garcetti is looking for ways to change the narrative of underserved and overlooked groups within the city, through multiple levels of resources that include renters assistance, Angeleno Cards, and a number of programs geared towards families that are currently experiencing their darkest days. The City and County continue to meet the needs that have spiked during this time, with the ultimate goal for solidarity and equality in the future.