L.A. Mayor Garcetti announces new regulations for construction sites, expands coronavirus testing

Local News

At his daily briefing Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said there were 215 new coronavirus cases reported in the city, an 18% increase from the previous day.

Garcetti also announced new regulations for construction sites, saying that while construction is essential, social distancing guidelines must be followed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comprehensive plans must be submitted to the city’s Department of Building and Safety to ensure that construction sites follow physical distancing, decontamination and hygiene practices, Garcetti said.

City inspectors will go to sites daily to ensure they are following these guidelines.

As of Tuesday, the city’s “business ambassadors” visited 540 non-essential businesses that had not yet closed their doors, the mayor said. Most complied after the visit, but four businesses that did not were referred to the city attorney to pursue further action.

Garcetti said anyone who observes businesses in violation of the stay-at-home order can call and report them to coronavirus.LACity.org/businessviolation.

The city has also opened up a new coronavirus testing site, the mayor said, with plans to open up three more across L.A. County.

A total of 10,027 COVID-19 tests have been administered and starting Wednesday the city’s testing portal will be expanded to allow residents from all of L.A. County to schedule appointments, the mayor announced.

Garcetti also said that FEMA has approved reimbursements for all the hotels and motels that are serving as isolation and quarantine sites.

After confirming a coronavirus case among the homeless population last week, Garcetti said that he is absolutely worried about the homeless population. He said the city will focus more hotel and motel rooms near Skid Row to get people off the streets.

The mayor thanked an anonymous donor who gave $1 million dollars to the city, to be distributed through grocery store gift cards to “the neediest people in this crisis.” Various grocery chains donated as well, adding up to a total of $1.2 million in gift cards.

Garcetti also thanked Rihanna and Jay-Z for contributions, adding that he hoped it would inspire other celebrities to donate as well.

“All of us are first responders when it comes to this virus,” Garcetti said.

He also announced that there is an ordinance that will be signed soon to ensure grocer’s have proper protective equipment.

The briefing comes after Garcetti granted renters leeway Monday on making payments, giving residential tenants 12 months and commercial tenants three months to pay what they owe.

The mayor also temporarily shut down farmers markets throughout the city, allowing them to reopen once they submit plans to ensure social distancing among patrons.

Garcetti announced over the weekend that the L.A. Convention Center will be used as a temporary hospital as officials prepare for a surge in patients. The USNS Mercy hospital ship, docked at the Port of L.A., also brought 1,000 additional hospital beds to the city, making it the largest medical facility in L.A.

Coronavirus cases in L.A. County reached 3,011 with 54 deaths Tuesday, health officials announced.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a new hotline for seniors in the state to receive help and critical services. The phone number is 1-833-544-2374.

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