LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that an announcement on how the city plans to reopen would be made in the coming days in conjunction with the county, much like the original announcement for the area’s Safer At Home order at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The news came hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom said certain “low-risk” businesses — including flower shops, book stores and clothing retailers — would be allowed to reopen for curbside service at the end of the week.
“People think that because the governor said you can open on Friday that the whole state will open on Friday,” Garcetti said. “That’s not what the governor said today. He said counties can and should assess on the ground where they are and determine whether they should take those steps on Friday.”
As for the city of L.A., and the county as a whole, Garcetti said he does not see that happening before May 15.
“We’ve put a lot of work in preparing for that day,” he said. “I don’t think that we will take many steps before that, but it is possible [the county] could advise some baby steps before our small steps.”
The mayor was also clear to state that reopening the city would take more than just a couple of weeks.
“There isn’t a giant reopening,” he said. “This is a series of steps, and steps that we have to assess each time, and they will succeed more if we practice the prescriptions that are given to us.”
Even after starting the reopening process, Garcetti said people will still have to practice social distancing out in public, refrain from large-scale gatherings and continue to wear face coverings to mitigate the risk of a possible second wave.
“I’d remind people what we saw in someplace like New York can still be L.A. in a matter of just a few weeks if we do this wrong,” he said. “So I would much rather take these steps carefully, have a regular check-in, do them together as a county, then rush just to score points and say, ‘Look, we opened everything up.'”
And while he said he was concerned about opening up too soon, he said he was confident that the coalition of local governments and health departments was the right one to move L.A. toward reopening.
“I look forward to announcing that together with my county colleagues later this week,” he said.
The mayor also announced that all skilled nursing facilities in the city will be required to deliver notices to all residents and workers that include the most recent date testing was offered as well as the next date it will be offered.
“Our residents deserve nothing less,” he said. “This order will provide important accountability and potentially life-changing, life-saving resources as we continue to navigate this health emergency together.
The order of notice updates the city’s current order, which mandated monthly testing of all staff and residents at such facilities.
The mayor also said that his emergency senior meals program had expanded once again, providing meals to 15,000 homebound seniors with the help of local restaurants, kitchens and taxi drivers.
Seniors who live within the city of Los Angeles and are 65 or older, or 60-64 with underlying conditions, can call 213-263-5226 to sign up for meal delivery or they can do it on the city’s website.
Garcetti also announced that Project Roomkey increased its number of available rooms by more than 500 over the weekend, including an unnamed 460-room hotel near Skid Row, bringing the county’s total to more than 3,000 rooms.
The city of Los Angeles has seen an average daily increase of 854 new cases in the past seven days with an additional 225 reported today, bringing the city’s total to 12,525.