LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Rumors are spreading as fast as the coronavirus, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other authorities want people to have the hard facts.

With so many people confined to their homes, rumors are flying wildly via social media and text message. But Garcetti says he can easily dispel such claims.

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Some of the misinformation that went viral included:

  • A social media post from a woman claims the LAPD is stopping people for walking on the street and handing out $400 tickets to anyone considered “non-essential.” Garcetti says this is FALSE.
  • Utility companies like LADWP and SoCal Edison are shutting down water and power service: FALSE. The city of LA and SoCal Edison both say they are suspending disconnections and waiving late payment charges.
  • Drivers will not be ticketed during street sweeping: TRUE. However, meters and time limits will still be enforced.
  • Drivers with expired licenses will not be ticketed during the stay-at-home order: TRUE.

Other claims circulating via text message have made claims of martial law being instituted. A convoy of tanks being transferred by train that was spotted Wednesday by Stu Mundel in Sky 2 seemed to give strength to this particular claim, but the Naval Base in Ventura County says this is FALSE.

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While it is true the California National Guard has been called up to help with food distribution, the military says troop and equipment movements are normal in Southern California, and not related to COVID-19. Additionally, Garcetti says he will notify the public if the National Guard or Army is requested to deploy locally.


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