LOS ANGELES – In a 12 page emergency order issued Wednesday evening, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is reminding City residents to stay home which is “necessary for the protection of life and property in the City of Los Angeles,” the order reads.
A spokesperson for Mayor Garcetti’s office contacted the Blade late Wednesday evening to clarify the intent of the emergency order. The purpose of the reissue of the order was to bring it into sync with the Los Angeles County order issued on Monday. The spokesperson indicated that this was not a new stay-at-home order.
In his press briefing Wednesday, although he made no mention of the emergency order that was to be issued later in the evening, the mayor said, “It’s time to cancel everything.”
Garcetti added, “Don’t meet up with others outside your household. Don’t host gatherings. Don’t go to gatherings. Just stay home.”
Non-exempt businesses in the city were ordered to cease operations that require in-person attendance of staff. However, there is a broad list of exceptions for various businesses and workers deemed essential or exempt.
People may lawfully leave their residences only to engage in defined essential activities.
All travel, including travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit is prohibited with exceptions as listed in the document. The order, however, doesn’t specify the parameters of this prohibition.
Those experiencing homelessness are exempt from the requirement to stay in their homes.
Failure to comply with the order will constitute a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment, according to the document.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health had confirmed 7,593 new infections in the county, blowing past the previous high of 6,124 from the week before. Public Health also recorded the highest daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday. Currently, there are 2,439 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing yesterday’s high of 2,316 people.
According to Public Health officials the daily test positivity rate on Wednesday was 12%, up from 7% just over one week ago. That indicates the virus is infecting more people at a faster rate than ever in L.A., even as the county is delivering more tests than ever before.
“We are now at the worst point we have experienced thus far in this pandemic, and now is the time to take every single precaution to protect ourselves and others.” ~ Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health
As cases surge, the County is experiencing higher rates of disproportionality. The gaps between race and ethnicity groups that closed in September have now dramatically widened, particularly for Latino/Latinx residents compared to other groups, though all groups are experiencing increases.
Latino/Latinx residents are now experiencing a 7-day cumulative rate of 270 new cases per 100,000 people. This is over twice that of White residents, the group with the second highest case rate of about 125 cases per 100,000 people per day. African American/Black residents are experiencing about 112 new cases per 100,000 people and Asian residents experience around 80 new cases per 100,000 people.
African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents are also experiencing an alarming increase in deaths. The death rate among Latino/Latinx residents has increased from 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 3 deaths per 100,000 people. The death rate for African American/Black residents has increased from less than 1 death per 100,000 people to nearly 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
“We are seeing terrifying increases and numbers in L.A. County that can only be turned around if everyone – businesses and individuals – carefully use the tools we have to slow the spread: wearing a face covering, distancing, staying away from crowds and gatherings, and following all the business protocols to protect workers and customers,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health said.
“There are no activities where people shouldn’t be wearing a face covering if they are outside their home except for swimming. Everywhere people go they should be able to keep at least 6 feet away from others and there should be no crowding. This virus is relentless. It will continue to be relentless until we can vaccinate the millions of residents and workers calling L.A. County home. And while there is a bright light at the end of this very dark tunnel, we are not there yet. We are now at the worst point we have experienced thus far in this pandemic, and now is the time to take every single precaution to protect ourselves and others,” Ferrer added.