LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In his Wednesday evening briefing on the city’s coronavirus response, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that all city parks will be closed from Saturday evening through Monday morning to prevent gatherings during the Easter holiday.
“I know it’s one of the great traditions of Los Angeles to head to the park, to celebrate Easter,” Garcetti said. “Maybe it’s for an Easter egg hunt, maybe it’s after church services to sit and have a picnic, but this isn’t a normal year, and so I’m announcing that on Sunday our parks will be closed.”READ MORE: Fire Breaks Out In Restaurant Of Downtown LA High-Rise, One Hurt
The city has already closed park facilities and trails, but all city parks will be completely closed — except for the bathrooms — this weekend. Garcetti said the closures would be enforced by park rangers and officers with the Los Angeles Police Department.
“I’m counting on all of you, and I know that your heart breaks,” he said. “Like so many of the things that we’ve had to do, this is such a fun moment for all of our kids, this is such a great tradition that many families have, but we can’t afford to have even one cluster of a few people together spread this disease and kill them.”
The closure includes lakes and botanical gardens and mirrors the county’s order to close those public spaces for the weekend as well.READ MORE: Suspect Shot, Wounded By Deputies During Standoff; Climbs Onto Roof Of Walnut Park Home
Garcetti reiterated that the other closures that have been announced — trails, park facilities, beaches and playgrounds — are still in place and will continue.
The mayor also announced that testing has expanded to people experiencing homelessness with 10 testing sites at clinics they already visit with doctors they know and trust with other health concerns.
“We know that folks that are experiencing homelessness are both susceptible and vulnerable,” Garcetti said. “They are susceptible because of living on the streets and vulnerable because so many of them have underlying health conditions already.”
The city has also been working to get more homeless off the streets and into rooms through Project Room Key, which matches those in desperate need of shelter with available hotel and motel rooms in the area.
“We need more,” the mayor said. “We need to get them faster. I’m committed to that.”MORE NEWS: Claremont Unified Cancels All Classes To Assess Windstorm Damage, Power Out At 2 Campuses
Garcetti also announced that, starting tomorrow, city workers would start checking handwashing stations throughout the city every day instead of once per week to ensure that there was adequate water and soap.