L.A. Mayor Garcetti announces free, extra trash collection services; mobile COVID-19 testing team for assisted living facilities

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced extra trash collection services Thursday as Angelenos remain under stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The free service will go into effect on Monday for 750,000 single-family homes and apartments covered by the L.A. Sanitation Department, and will last until the stay-at-home order is lifted.

On regularly scheduled collection days, residents can go outside to meet the trash truck and wait for the sanitation worker to take the trash; then they can refill their black and blue bins if they have more trash, and the worker — who will remain in the truck — will take those away too.

It’s not a perfect solution, Garcetti said, but it’s a creative effort to lighten the wasteload while protecting safety workers. Residents can call the L.A. Sanitation Department at 1-800-773-2489 or 311 for more information.

Another new initiative was announced Thursday, in which the city will deploy a rapid mobile testing team to assisted living facilities such as nursing homes and respiratory hospitals, where people are sick, to test residents, employees and caretakers.

The mayor said the city and the county set a new record Thursday, testing more than 4,000 people in one day at mobile testing sites. He said he aims to have 60,000 people tested by the end of next week.

Garcetti addressed new data that shows COVID-19 is killing African Americans at an alarming rate, saying the city would double-down on testing at its Crenshaw facility in South Los Angeles.

On Thursday, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced they were each committing $2.1 million to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to assist domestic violence victims with few places to turn during the city’s coronavirus restrictions.

Domestic violence reports have increased during the stay-at-home order, the mayor said, and shelters have had to turn away 90 domestic violence victims due to a lack of space. The new funding will cover 90 families a week, with an additional 90 victims every week after that for 10 weeks, the Clara Lionel Foundation said.

The mayor also said many animal shelters will be consolidated since there is extra space as pet adoptions have increased.

The briefing comes after the mayor announced the L.A. Cares Corps program Wednesday to help small businesses apply for federal loans under the CARES Act. The virtual service will aid business owners in figuring out which loans to apply for, whether it be city, county, state or federal.

Garcetti also announced Project Room Key Wednesday, to help homeless and vulnerable Angelenos move into hotels and motels amid the coronavirus pandemic.

An additional 425 cases of coronavirus and 25 deaths were reported in Los Angeles County Thursday, bringing the total to 7,955 and raising the death toll to 223, officials said.

Thursday’s 6% daily increase in cases is the smallest the county has seen but there are still more new cases each day, Garcetti said. Countywide, deaths are still doubling every 4 days, the mayor said.

Garcetti has been holding a virtual briefing every weekday and on Sundays at 5:15 p.m. via Facebook Live.

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