Los Angeles residents would be celebrating the holiday season in their homes as Mayor Eric Garcetti directed his constituents to “cancel everything” and “stay in their homes” to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
In a briefing early Wednesday, the mayor said, “My message couldn’t be simpler. It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it.”
According to Harrison Wollman, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, a recent version of a safer-at-home order was uploaded to match the county’s current order enacted earlier this week.
“The two orders are identical, and the process of publishing the official document on our website is a formality that occurs each time the order is revised.”
The set of restrictions include a ban on travel with exemptions.
Further, the city’s NotifyLA System sent out email and text alerts on Wednesday, although Wollman said the guidance had been set for days. The alerts brought confusion with the phrase “new restriction” used in the announcement.
A spokesman clarified that although the NotifyLA System alerts were accurate, there were no new restrictions included.
The order, which was first released in March, was revised in June.
Businesses that do not fall under the exempt category were ordered to cease operations requiring in-person attendance of staff. A comprehensive list of exceptions for businesses and workers deemed essential or exempt was also published on the website.
Residents are only allowed to leave their homes to engage in defined essential activities. Meanwhile, homeless people are exempted from staying indoors.
Like the county’s order, all public and private gatherings prohibit the involvement of more than one household, except for faith-based services and protests held outdoors.
Violators of the new health order will be charged with misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment. Mayor Garcetti urged the LAPD and the city attorney to “vigorously enforce” the order.
The restriction comes after Los Angeles County admitted 2,439 people in hospitals due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest record since the pandemic’s onslaught.