Los Angeles’ relaxed rules for parking enforcement — which include no ticketing during residential street-sweeping and in rush-hour zones — will be in place through at least Aug. 16, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday.
The rules were previously set to expire Aug. 1. But the mayor says Angelenos will need to continue staying home as much as possible through at least the first half of August.
“Overall, our public health conditions remain fragile,” he said in a Friday evening briefing. “We need to fight with everything we’ve got to take back control to stop the spread, and to flatten and press down on the curve.”
The virus continues to surge in L.A. County. While the number of total cases appears to be growing at a slower rate than last week — which saw three records set for the number of new infections reported in a day — public health officials say the data is incomplete due to a delay in the state’s reporting.
As of Friday, the county had added an average of 2,666 cases this week, compared 3,282 last week.
L.A. County added 1,949 more infections Friday and reported 44 additional virus-related deaths, noting that tally of new cases is expected to rise once data can be obtained from the state. The county’s death toll now stands at 4,300, with more than 168,700 cases confirmed.
Garcetti pointed to the county’s transmission rate as a sign of hope. He said it’s dropped from 1.07 to 0.94 — meaning on average, each person infected passes the virus on to fewer than one person.
The rate of people testing positive for the virus has also dropped, from 13.6% a week ago to 11.6% Friday.
“We hope to see in the coming weeks the cases come down,” Garcetti said.
The mayor added that the past few days have been “the city’s busiest testing days,” and results are coming back in under 24 hours. The city is also sending mobile testing teams into under-served communities, which have been hardest hit by the virus.
Garcetti had been threatening for weeks to reinstate the city’s stay-home order due to the alarming rate of spread, first raising the idea July 8. But on Wednesday he conceded that renewed restrictions would not materialize, and instead encouraged Angelenos to take it on themselves to halt the spread by staying home and wearing masks.
“Between the closures two weeks ago and the renewed vigilance that I’m certainly feeling across the city, we’ll know in the next week or so… where we are and where we’re moving,” he said Wednesday.
Earlier this week, public health officials said the virus’ spread in L.A. County is mostly being driven by younger people venturing out, while the illness is claiming the lives of older Angelenos, who are more at risk.