L.A. City Mayor Eric Garcetti (Screenshot)

L.A.  Mayor Eric Garcetti and other public officials explain the details

Thursday, March 19.  county and city officials gathered to explain new California Executive Order N-33-20, also known as, “Safer at Home, Stay at home” order. The new state regulation mandates all non-essential businesses to comply with social distancing guidelines by closing, secondary businesses in L.A. will be closed until April 19, with a possibility of an extension. The Safer at home, stay at home order suspends “any public or private gatherings of any size that would occur outside of a single home.” There are occupations exempt from the juridical act of the stay home order. Jobs such as emergency personnel, first responders, and government employees are permitted to go to work in order to keep the city’s infrastructure. Mayor Garcetti expressed this “new way of living” will be beneficial for overall health and human preservation, it will also provide support in flattening the curve of the spread COVID-19.

Kathryn Barger opened the conference with details of the next phase of COVID-19. She acknowledged the public order as the “Safer at home order” restricts gatherings that are more than 10 people. She went on to express that it is essential to use discretion and mindfulness when purchasing food and supply. Barger confirmed that we have enough food but buying in excess is causing unnecessary panic. Her words to heed, “Only purchase what you need.” Kathryn covered the plans in place for the homeless community; she acknowledges her team has been working tirelessly to ensure there are enough beds and supplies in place for those more susceptible to receiving the virus.

Following, was Mayor Eric Garcetti with more information on the public order covering all of L.A. county. He started with gratitude of those in service at grocery stores, emergency teams, and to all those still showing up for work and maintaining the city’s infrastructure. Garcetti continued by saying, “I wanted to cut to the chase, tonight.” Leading into the discussion topic, “Human life is precious.” Every decision made is with that in mind. The two concerns Garcetti laid out was, “how do we protect each other, and “how do we save lives.” Following that, he acknowledged that he has seen the drastic changes that have taken place living in Los Angeles.  Eric confessed that we need to be “painfully honest, we are entering a new way of living here in Los Angeles for a period.” The mayor of Los Angeles described the solution behind this national crisis, is within each of us. He showed gratitude towards those who are taking heed to the social distancing guidelines and staying home.

The elected official continued, making it very clear, that this public order is a historical moment.  COVID-19 became the moment “when everything changed.” He compared this epidemic to 9-11. Eric Garcetti explained the reason for the court order was due to the data, results coming back shows that we are at a rate of increase. The way to handle that, in his words, “We are trying to intervene earlier… and be like those countries where the curve starts to flatten.” The mayor and his team looked at historical pandemics, they found that dating back to 1918, those cities that acted early, were the ones with a lower fatality rate. The decisions behind the public order were made “with a heavy heart but a clear mind.” The mayor of Los Angeles disclosed that There will be questions of economic restorations that they simply cannot answer right now. The businesses that will be affected will be museums, malls, retail stores, and non-profit organizations. Eric Garcetti expressed the only time you should leave your home is for essential needs. Garcetti disclosed that this is not a request, this is an order.

Mayor of Long Beach and Pasadena has confirmed that they are following the stay at home order. Barbara Ferrer, PHD, Director of Public health, confirmed the second death related to the SARS-coV-2 virus. She ingrained that the public order is going to be active until April 19. Ferrer stated playgrounds, malls, and all non-essential businesses will be closed. Mayor of Long Beach Robert Garcia stated, “This is a serious step.” He continued, stating that the city of Long Beach will comply with the public order that started at midnight. He ensured that the ports down in Long Beach will still be fully operational. Mayor of Pasadena, Terry Tornek, also followed suit. The city of Pasadena initiated the public order at Midnight. He declared that all decisions are being guided by health professionals.

After all the officials spoke, the floor opened for questions.  There was a concern of reinforcement. Eric Garcetti shared earlier, that we are a free society. We will not be forced to be locked down, like how it might be in other countries. The places that remain open will be gas stations, banks, laundromats, pharmacies, and essential government functions. More information can be found at https://corona-virus.la/ or you can register for the City of L.A.’s mass notification system by going to NotifyLA.org.