Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city and county officials announced the “safer at home” public order in response to COVID-19, requiring people to stay at home and most businesses to close.
The order will go into effect in L.A. County at midnight Thursday.
Mayor Garcetti said that “today is a day that will be seared into the story and the streets” of the city and will be a “moment when everything changed.”
All businesses that require workers to be present must stop operations by 11:59 p.m. Friday, Garcetti said. Businesses that provide “essential services” are exempt.
The only time people should leave their home is for essential activities like getting food or taking care of a loved one, according to the mayor.
“This is not a shelter-in-place. It’s a ‘stay at home’,” Garcetti said.
He emphasized that this is a health emergency and nobody is on lockdown.
“We know that social distancing does not mean restriction from going outside and does not mean isolation,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said at the afternoon press conference.
She said people should refrain from gathering in a closed space with more than 10 people.
Barger said they did not know how long the order will be in place but said that it will be temporary.
The briefing came after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that half of Californians could get infected with coronavirus over the next eight weeks. The governor asked Congress for $1 billion to support the state’s medical response against the virus.
A second person died in L.A. County Thursday, and an additional 40 cases were reported in the county, bringing the total to 230 patients.
Throughout the state, there are 958 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 19 deaths.
The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of noon Thursday show that there are 10,442 diagnosed cases in the U.S., with 150 deaths.
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