May 7, 2020

USA: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Announced Phase One Of Reopening Of Some Businesses With Restrictions. Newport Beach Reopens Beaches With Gov Newsom Approval; Orange County Is Next Up.

KTLA News published May 7, 2020: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave an update on the city's response to COVID-19 on May 7.

KTLA5 News, Los Angeles local
written by Erika Martin
Thursday May 7, 2020

As Los Angeles prepares to begin reopening, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday warned the city is taking small steps that don’t include allowing people to gather in private.

On Friday, some businesses will reopen for the first time since coronavirus restrictions were put in place, and most city hiking trails and golf courses will open Saturday. But it will still take months, and probably the rest of year, before our way of life feels normal again, Garcetti said in his coronavirus briefing Thursday.

And for now, the stay-home order remains in place — so that includes being physically distant from friends and family who don’t live with you.

“We still cannot hold gatherings. We still cannot get together with people outside our households,” he said. “And we’ll be in this new reality as we move from reacting to this crisis to trying to build a safer and stronger L.A.”

Like other restrictions, Garcetti said he expects rules on private gatherings to be eased gradually.

“We’re not going to just lift it, because you could have a dinner party every single night with nine new strangers,” he said, “and that’s a very risky thing to have.”

But the mayor said he does see a possibility “in the near future” for interactions within a dedicated group of people.

“We encourage people to have a group of people that they know — maybe everybody has been tested — and you stay kind of with that, now slightly bigger, but regular group,” Garcetti said. “So it’s a household-plus.”

But still, as the number of local cases and fatalities continue to climb, Angelenos shouldn’t be meeting with different people every night, even in small groups.

“That’s how this thing spreads,” he said.

First L.A. businesses to reopen Friday
The mayor’s statements come as L.A. braces for the first businesses reopening Friday since coronavirus restrictions were put in place.

Only certain types of shops will be allowed to operate, and they can only offer curbside pickup for phone or online orders — customers still can’t go inside. Stores that can open include those that sell flowers, toys, music, books, clothing and sporting goods, as well as car dealership showrooms.

On Saturday, city hiking trails, trailhead parks and golf courses will reopen, with the exception of Runyon Canyon. New rules will be in place requiring facial coverings and 6 feet of distance between all visitors.

Masks will also be required at Los Angeles International Airport and aboard city and county transit Monday, as more people are expected to venture outside following the lifting of restrictions.

The city’s revised order mirrors guidelines that will be enacted simultaneously across all of L.A. County.

Although the county is beginning to reopen, it remains the epicenter of California’s outbreak, accounting for nearly half of all reported coronavirus cases and fatalities. As of Thursday, there were more than 29,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases countywide, resulting in 1,418 deaths.

Garcetti warned Wednesday that some restrictions may return if the number of cases spikes, saying the city would move slowly and deliberately to reopen “because hasty action kills people.”

COVID-19 remains the leading cause of death in L.A. County, and having more people outside will inherently put everyone at greater risk of infection, county public director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Thursday.

“Just because something opens up, doesn’t mean you have to go out,” she said.

CBS Los Angeles published April 27, 2020: Carson city officials opened up the first COVID-19 testing site in Southern California Monday that’s free to all of its residents, including those who are asymptomatic.
APRIL 29, 2020

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that L.A. will be the first big city in America to offer wide-scale, free COVID-19 testing to all residents, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms of the virus. The testing will be open to any resident of Los Angeles County, with tests administered at eight locations inside the City of Los Angeles.

“So long as COVID-19 spreads, we have to scale up our response — and because this disease can be a silent killer, we have carefully built the capacity to get more people tested,” said Mayor Garcetti. “No one should have to wait, wonder, or risk infecting others. Don’t leave it to chance. Schedule a test.”

The online portal where testing appointments are made now enables any resident of Los Angeles County to schedule a test, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Priority for the same or next-day testing is still given to people with symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Testing is also prioritized for medical professionals and certain other critical front-line workers who interact with the public as part of their job duties.

The testing program — which began with one Los Angeles Fire Department-staffed location, and has grown to eight sites within the City and 34 across the region — has grown dramatically in just over one month. Thanks to partnerships with Los Angeles County and the nonprofit emergency response organization CORE, the program has already completed about 140,000 tests since March 20.

If you would like to schedule an appointment for testing, please visit

Mayor Garcetti has taken several emergency actions in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, including a “Safer at Home” emergency order requiring City of Los Angeles residents to remain in their homes except for the most essential activities — including critical tasks such as securing food and health, safety and medical necessities, as well as caring for children, elder adults, family, friends and people with disabilities; an order that workers providing non-medical essential services — and their customers — must wear face coverings while in those work locations; a plan to shelter thousands of Angelenos experiencing homelessness; restrictions placed on bars, nightclubs, restaurants, movie theaters, entertainment venues, bowling alleys and arcades, gyms and fitness centers, and Recreation and Parks facilities across L.A.; and limits on public gatherings in City facilities.

More details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at

The Epoch Times
written by City News Services
Thursday May 6, 2020

SANTA ANA — Newport Beach received permission from Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 6 to reopen its seven miles of oceanfront for active use only, and county officials were preparing a similar plan to submit for approval.

With Newport Beach’s shoreline reopened, the county’s 16 percent of oceanfront is the last to reopen. The Orange County Board of Supervisors on May 5 voted 3-2, after a fiery debate, to direct staff to submit a plan for the reopening of its beaches.

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