‘It’s time to hunker down’: Los Angeles residents told to stay home amid COVID-19 surge

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — All residents within the city of Los Angeles should remain in their homes and follow the city’s “safer-at-home” order, according to the mayor’s office.

A public order posted on the mayor’s website Wednesday largely mirrors existing Los Angeles County protocols, which went into effect Monday. It detailed many of the restrictions, which includes a ban on some travel with a variety of exemptions.

Many residents were notified with an email and text alert from the city’s NotifyLA System Wednesday night, although the mayor’s deputy press secretary, Harrison Wollman, said the guidance has been in place for days.

“The city uploaded the most recent version of its safer-at-home order today to match the county’s current order that was enacted earlier this week,” Wollman said. “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 order, first issued in March, was revised one other time, in June.

The city of Los Angeles sent out a text alert on Dec. 2, 2020.
The city of Los Angeles sent out a text alert on Dec. 2, 2020.

A spokesman for the mayor’s office said the NotifyLA System alerts were accurate, but did not include any new restrictions.

Non-exempt businesses in the city have been 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.

Health care, grocery stores, gas stations and other essential services are among a broad list of exceptions. Retail stores, shopping centers and personal care facilities like hair salons have limits at 20% capacity during certain hours. Churches and other places of worship can be open if services are held outdoors.

All travel, including travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit is prohibited.

Mirroring the county’s order, all public and private gatherings with people from more than one household are prohibited, except for outdoor faith-based services and protests.

Operations for music and video production can continue under county and industry protocols.

Failure to comply with the order will constitute a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment, according to the document. The mayor urged the Los Angeles Police Department and the city attorney to “vigorously enforce this.”

“My message couldn’t be simpler,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in his earlier briefing. “It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it.”

Los Angeles County reported a total of 2,439 people hospitalized for the virus Wednesday, more than on any other day during the pandemic.

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