Mayor Eric Garcetti conceded Sunday that Los Angeles reopened too quickly and again warned that the city was “on the brink” of new shutdown orders as the coronavirus continues to surge in California.
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“I do agree those things happened too quickly,” Garcetti said, adding that the decisions were made at the state and county levels, not by city officials.
The mayor said Los Angeles was “on the brink” of new widespread stay-at-home orders as LA County, with a quarter of California's population, continued to see the state's largest increase in confirmed coronavirus cases.
California reported on Saturday its fourth-highest daily total of newly confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 9,000. The state also reported an additional 120 deaths.
Coronavirus Hospital Use Projections Across the Country
This interactive chart uses model data provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to predict how the coronavirus will affect health care resources in different states. In states such as Florida and California, hospital bed use is projected to continue to grow into September and October. Most states have enough general hospital and ICU beds to meet demand, according to additional data from The Associated Press.
Sources: State hospital bed capacity data from the Associated Press. Model data provided by IHME. Note: The model assumes mask use continues at currently observed rates and the gradual easing of social distancing mandates continues. It also assumes the mandate would be re-imposed for six weeks if daily deaths reach 8 per million.
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC
Last week Garcetti said he wouldn't hesitate to again shut down all but essential businesses. Those comments came days after California Gov. Gavin Newsom shut bars and indoor dining statewide, and ordered closures of hair salons, gyms, malls and other indoor businesses in Los Angeles and other counties experiencing the most significant surge of virus cases.
Garcetti told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that Los Angeles currently has adequate hospital capacity a good supply of ventilators.
Los Angeles County reported a record-high number of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals last week, and the overall share of tests that have come back positive jumped from 8% to nearly 10%.
The mayor attributed the increase in spread not just to the reopenings, but also to people becoming less vigilant about following public health guidance and gathering with others outside their households.
“It’s not just what’s open and closed,” he said. “It’s also about what we do individually.”
Officials have reiterated that people must wear masks and maintain social distancing to slow the spread.