Los Angeles

City Will Shut Down Businesses Ignoring Coronavirus Orders, LA Mayor Says

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Los Angeles' city government will not hesitate to close businesses deemed "non-essential" as well as construction sites that don't practice social distancing while emergency orders are in place, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday.

"If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the (Safer at Home) order, we're going to act to enforce the ... order and ensure their compliance," Garcetti said during his daily coronavirus briefing.

The city's Business Ambassadors program and crisis response teams have been asking non-essential businesses that have remained open to shut down, and they've visited about 540 of them, Garcetti said.

The Los Angeles Police Department has visited about 144 of those locations, and Garcetti said most have complied, with only four being referred to the City Attorney's Office for possible citations.

People can let the city know of any non-essential businesses that continue to operate at coronavirus.lacity.org/businessviolation.

Garcetti said construction sites will now be required to adopt certain plans and protocols in order to keep their workers and the public safe.

They will be required to check workers for symptoms of coronavirus and educate them on coronavirus prevention measures.

Their employees will also be required to work at least 6 feet apart and cannot share tools, phones or other individual materials.

"Critical infrastructure projects like homeless shelters and housing should move forward, but never at the expense of our workers' health, never at the risk of anyone's life,'' Garcetti said, adding that there have been reports of construction sites that have not followed the social distancing orders.

Those guidelines will be available Tuesday night at ladbs.org.

The city saw an additional 215 positive coronavirus cases Tuesday, bringing its total to 1,386 since the outbreak began.

Garcetti said there are 1,382 available beds and 222 intensive care unit beds at hospitals in Los Angeles County with 861 available ventilators.

"That's woefully insufficient,'' Garcetti said, adding that the city is working with suppliers to get more ventilators. "The need is urgent and we need to have more partnerships, locally and globally to build more medically sound ventilators."

Garcetti on Sunday appointed Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka as the city's chief logistics officer during the coronavirus pandemic, and Seroka is supervising the shipments of medical supplies.

Seroka said last week the port has the ability to expedite cargo units that carry medical supplies, but it must also continue to ship other commodities in order to not cause a backup.

The city has conducted 10,027 tests, including 1,623 tests Tuesday, and will have administered 13,000 tests by the end of the week, Garcetti said.

Two new testing sites are set to open that are staffed by the county and will include a walk-up site.

People who are eligible can sign up for tests at coronavirus.lacty.org if they are 65 or older, have an underlying medical condition or are experiencing symptoms.

Garcetti said there has been outpouring support for a fund that his office established that is being used to address the coronavirus.

Another $1 million was anonymously donated Tuesday, and recording artists Rhianna and Jay-Z have made contributions through their respective charities, Garcetti said.

Donations can be made at MayorsFundLA.org.

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