Just minutes after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors closed the beaches for the long holiday weekend, a somber Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took to his podium.
“This period will be our second big test,” said Garcetti ominously.
“It is now time for a pause,” said the mayor. “We simply cannot risk people’s lives.”
He then announced that, along with the beach closures, Fourth of July firework displays would also be prohibited in hope of keeping Angelenos from gathering in groups.
“Gatherings of people you do not live with are not allowed,” he said.
Garcetti said he did not see hard evidence yet that recent protests contributed to these spikes. Asked about protests planned for the coming weekend and whether the city would intervene out of concern for new infections, the mayor responded, “Keep your social distance and wear masks. People can — and should — still exercise their first amendment rights.”
He announced a “hard pause” in the opening of more businesses, including movie theaters and amusement parks. Over the weekend, county officials ordered bars and nightclubs to again shut down.
Los Angeles County Beaches Ordered To Close For Fourth Of July Weekend Amid Coronavirus Spike
Earlier in the day, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Ferrer revealed that the county had hit another record high in daily new COVID cases.
She indicated that businesses are a large contributor to the continued growth of COVID-19. Many business not requiring masks or physical distancing, she said. This weekend, 3 weeks after county guidelines were released, Ferrer reported that 33 percent of restaurants inspected were not adhering to the county safety protocols.
Asked whether he would re-implement a stay-at-home order, Garcetti said, “no one wants to go backwards.”
“We cannot strangle economic prosperity here,” said Garcetti. He warned that the federal government won’t likely help L.A. residents again financially.
So he said officials must take some measures to prevent the spread.
Garcetti indicated that the county is looking at taking away licenses from restaurants that do not comply with county anti-COVID guidelines.
Last week, it was announced that 1 in 400 people in the county had had coronavirus.
“Over the coming week,” said the mayor, “it is estimated that that number will fall to on out of 100, or one out of seventy.”
“Please do your part,” Garcetti implored. “Stay at home…assume that everybody is” infected.
“Six of the seven indicators that we track are going in the wrong direction,” he said. “Only deaths, which as we know is a lagging indicator, is going down.” Garcetti indicated that category might see a spike in 3-4 weeks.
“We cannot get to the place where COVID-19 overwhelms out hospitals,” warned the mayor. “Don’t have this moment result in us restricting more.”
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