L.A. Mayor Garcetti announces car washes, pet grooming services may resume

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced at a briefing Tuesday that car washes and pet grooming shops may reopen under county guidelines.

All pet grooming and training retail businesses and mobile services can resume for drop off and pick up immediately, the mayor said, but customers cannot go inside the businesses.

All car washes may also reopen as long as they follow the county’s retail establishment protocol. Previously, only automated and self-services washes were open.

The mayor also announced that the city has secured a second hotel in downtown L.A. and one in Mid-City that will together provide 269 additional rooms for homeless individuals as part of Project Room Key. That brings the county’s total to more than 3,500 rooms, he said.

“The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has filled these hotel and motel rooms quickly, mostly within two to three days,” Garcetti said. “I know there was an article today about how half of them were unfilled throughout the state. But I’m very proud, here in L.A. County, we’re at very high occupancy and we’re moving fast.”

The news conference was held for the first time outside the Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Medical Center, a Reseda skilled nursing facility, and the mayor was joined by officials from the L.A. Fire Department.

With three mobile testing teams, 101 of the 135 skilled nursing facilities in the city, which have more than 25,000 residents and workers, have been tested by LAFD rapid response teams, Garcetti announced.

The city requires all skilled nursing facilities in the city to test all residents and workers at least once per month. The facilities can request test kits from the mobile team if they cannot provide them on their own, the mayor said.

Outbreaks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have claimed more than 33,000 lives nationwide — that’s more than a third of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S., according to a count by the AP.

In L.A. County, there are at least 200 skilled nursing facilities that have had staff and residents test positive for the virus, according to the county’s health department, which keeps a running list of facilities with known cases.

The county has been testing all staff and residents in institutional settings, including nursing homes, regardless of whether they showed any symptoms of the respiratory illness. The majority of people who tested positive in such settings did not show symptoms of COVID-19, county public health director Barbara Ferrer said.

Tuesday’s briefing comes after L.A. County business leaders announced that they hope to safely reopen the county by July 4, including malls, restaurants and retail businesses.

“These are all general goals, and I think we should avoid saying specific dates,” Garcetti said Tuesday. “We hope for it to be tomorrow, we hoped it would be July 4, we hope for it to be as soon as possible.”

Health officials reported 1,183 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total to 39,573 in L.A. County, as well as 76 new deaths, totaling to 1,913 fatalities. The county remains the epicenter of California’s coronavirus outbreak, with hundreds of new cases reported each day.

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