L.A. Mayor Garcetti expands virus crisis eviction ban, prohibiting removal of rental units from market

Coronavirus
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held his daily briefing Monday to announce additional steps in the city’s fight to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“For those who still haven’t heeded the call to stay home, who are not physically distancing, who crowded beaches and canyons, we know who you are and this is serious,” the mayor said. “Stay home and save lives.”

The city is arming up its testing capacity and will continue to fight to bring resources to L.A., Garcetti said.

The briefing comes after the city announced earlier Monday that it had established an online portal where high-risk residents could sign up to get tested for COVID-19.

Garcetti announced an emergency order at the briefing, prohibiting the removal of any residential rental units from the rental market under the Ellis Act and imposing a moratorium on Ellis Act-related evictions in the city.

This order closes the gap in the eviction moratorium previously set by the city and it clarifies that this special class of evictions are also prohibited, the mayor said.

He emphasized his commitment to preventing people from losing their homes at a time when they are being asked to stay home.

Many of the eight sites opened to get the homeless off the streets are already at capacity and in coming days, the city plans to open more, according the mayor.

City officials are working with L.A. County to identify hotels and motels to be used as quarantine or isolation units, where homeless and low-income Angelenos who live in crowded spaces can stay.

The mayor also announced that as of Monday, restaurants and bars in the city of L.A. can deliver alcoholic beverages, which is an order in distinction to the state’s guidance. The measure is in effort to aid business owners and do “something nice for the people of L.A.,” Garcetti said.

When asked about nonessential businesses that remain open, Garcetti said employees can report that to the city by calling 311.

“Shut it down or we will shut you down,” he said.

Public services, including water, street sweeping and public transportation, will continue to operate, the mayor said, however some will face changes.

Public transit riders will be asked to enter Metro buses from the back door, unless they have accessibility needs, in an effort to protect bus operators.

Also to aid Los Angeles, U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy was on its way to the port of Los Angeles from San Diego on Monday afternoon, after President Donald Trump announced Sunday that the ship would house 1,000 hospital beds making it the largest hospital in the city.

There were 538 confirmed coronavirus cases and eight deaths in L.A. County as of Monday, with 2,133 confirmed cases and 40 deaths in California.

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