L.A. County launches free delivery service for seniors, other vulnerable individuals during pandemic

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Seniors shop for groceries during special hours open to seniors and the disabled only at Northgate Gonzalez Market on March 19, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Seniors shop for groceries during special hours open to seniors and the disabled only at Northgate Gonzalez Market on March 19, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

With residents urged to stay home and even avoid grocery shopping for the next two weeks to combat the coronavirus epidemic, Los Angeles County on Wednesday announced the launch of a free delivery service to help seniors and those with disabilities.

The countywide Critical Delivery Service will drop off groceries, household essentials and other necessities to qualifying individuals, L.A. County officials said in a news release.

“With the launch of our Critical Delivery Service Program, L.A. County will step up to ensure older adults and individuals with disabilities who are unable to leave their homes due to COVID-19 will receive the healthy meals they need to get through this difficult time,” L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis stated in the release.

She noted that while everyone is susceptible to the impacts of the novel coronavirus, seniors and those with underlying health conditions may be especially vulnerable to suffering potentially lethal complications from the illness.

Delivery is available 24 hours a day, seven day a week. The service can be utilized up to four times or 40 miles per month.

The only caveat is that the items must be paid for in advance and ready for pickup.

Those who are eligible can schedule a delivery by calling 1-888-863-7411 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I encourage all who are eligible to use this resource to do so, in order to stay safer at home during this time,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.

The service was launched by the L.A. County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services with assistance from the Board of Supervisors.

On Wednesday, the total cases of the novel coronavirus in the county reached 7,530, with 198 deaths.

About 20% of the total cases recorded by the L.A. County Department of Public Health were diagnosed in those 65 older, but the virus can lead to more serious complications, particularly among older adults and those with chronic illnesses, officials say.

Of the 29 most recent deaths reported in the county, 22 patients had underlying health conditions and 17 were over 65 years old, according to the health agency.

As the county entered a critical week in the fight to curb the virus’ spread, officials on Monday urged people to avoid going out even to supermarkets or pharmacies for the next couple weeks, if possible.

L.A. County’s new program, therefore, is one step toward helping people stay at home while ensuring they still have access to daily essentials.

“We are trying new, innovative ways to make sure that everyone in L.A. County has the resources they need to get through this crisis,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said.

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