Mayor Garcetti says L.A. considered restricting travel outside neighborhoods if COVID-19 cases soar

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is encouraged by a slowing rate of coronavirus infections in the region but says City Hall could expand  restrictions on public activity if the numbers take a turn for the worse.

The mayor told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that the possibilities include requiring people to stay mostly in their neighborhoods, rather than travel longer distances for shopping and exercise.

“We can’t yet do that, nor do we have an enforcement mechanism, nor are we a country where, thankfully, we monitor people’s cell phones or where they are all the time and I don’t think we’re gonna do that anytime soon,” the mayor later said at a news conference Monday.

He said he hopes people will  be encouraged to stay where they are through public education.

Even with infection rate in the Los Angeles area, Garcetti says he’s continuing to seek more ventilators and protective gear for health care workers.

The mayor also says his greatest fear remains potential spread of the virus within households. 

“we’re still consulting with the county,

L.A. County’s coronavirus cases climbed to 6,360 with 147 deaths countywide on Monday as officials warned of a critical week ahead.

“We will see many more cases over the next few weeks,” the county’s public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. “If you have enough supplies in your home, this will be the week to skip shopping altogether.”

Officials urged residents to practice social distancing and adhere to stay-at-home orders.

“We’re worried, that without everyone taking every possible precaution, our numbers could start skyrocketing, that’s one thing we don’t want to see happen,” Ferrer said. “It really is time for those people who may not have taken this seriously before, to understand the seriousness of what’s going on in our communities, the seriousness of living through a pandemic.”

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