Officials Say L.A. "On Brink" Of Further Shutdown Orders


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Mayor Eric Garcetti said today that the city of Los Angeles is "on the brink'' of issuing another stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases surge in the region, as he urged the public once again to guard against complacency amid the ongoing pandemic.

"I think a lot of people don't understand, mayors often have no control over what opens up and doesn't -- that's either at a state or county level, and I do agree that those things (reopening businesses)happened too quickly,'' Garcetti told CNN on Sunday.

"It's not just what's opened and closed, it's also about what we do individually. It's about the people who are getting together outside of their households,'' he continued. "...They might think because they got a test two weeks ago it's OK, but it's not. This virus preys on our division, it preys when we get exhausted, it preys on us in those moments when we don't have a unified national front, or when we as individuals think `Oh, this ain't gonna be a big deal.' We have to be as vigilant right now as we were the first day.''

Garcetti had said Friday that the city is teetering on the edge of a"red'' coronavirus alert level, which would trigger stricter local stay-at-home orders and potentially more business closures.

He also said attorneys will be dispatched Monday throughout LosAngeles to advise or cite businesses who have failed to comply with the city's COVID-19 guidelines.

"Starting on Monday, I'm announcing we are re-launching the BusinessAmbassadors Program that showed us so much success early on in this fight, sending out dozens of city workers who every day visit businesses, where we have a report of a problem and non-compliance,'' Garcetti said.

The program willed by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

Los Angeles County officials reported 2,770 new cases of COVID-19 and37 more deaths on Saturday, raising the countywide totals to 153,041 cases and4,084 fatalities.

As of Saturday, there were 2,188 confirmed cases hospitalized, 28% of whom are in theICU, and 18% on ventilators. This marks the fourth consecutive day of more than 2,100 confirmed cases in hospitals.

Testing results are available for more than 1.49 million people, with9% of them testing positive. Data continues to show people between the ages of18 and 40 being hospitalized at a higher rate than at any point during the pandemic. More than 11,000 children and teens have been infected with COVID-19.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer and L.A. County HealthOfficer Dr. Muntu Davis said businesses need to do more to protect workers, with Davis saying workplaces have seen sharp increases in virus transmissions.

Davis said inspectors over the past few months have been responding to2,000 to 3,000 complaints a week about potential health protocol violations at workplaces.

Dozens of workplace outbreaks are under investigation, the largest of which continues to be at the Los Angeles Apparel garment-manufacturing facilities in South Los Angeles, Davis said. Health officials reported last week that 300 employees at the plant had tested positive for the coronavirus, and four people have died.

Davis said Thursday the number of confirmed cases at the facility had risen to 375 of the company's 2,290 employees.


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