Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

COVID-19 Latest News

Public domain image from the Centers for Disease Control; Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

For the last couple of days, we’ve been focusing on bringing you closure notices and other business change announcements from local merchants, as well as compiling a list of useful resources for this troublesome period.  Today, while we are still constantly updating both of those lists, we also want to catch up on some of the wider city and state news regarding the coronavirus.

First of all, California Governor Gavin Newsom has just announced that standardized testing for K-12 students will be suspended for this year.

Closer to home, LAUSD  yesterday launched 60 “Grab and Go Food Centers,” to provide meals for district students.  These are closest to City Council District 4:

Graphic provide by City Council District 4


On Tuesday, the LA City Council had a very busy day, passing the following new measures to help support city residents during the crisis:

  • An emergency moratorium on housing evictions and mortgage foreclosures
  • Student rental assistance for those unable to return to their student housing
  • Initial financial assistance for small businesses
  • A requirement that supermarkets across the City dedicate the first hour of customer business exclusively to senior citizens and the disabled community
  • A moratorium on street vending
  • Suspension of certain homeless camp cleanup provisions, which will now allow homeless individuals to keep tents and possessions on sidewalks during the day

City Council Member David Ryu also introduced several additional motions requesting help for seniors, working families, small businesses:

  • All City departments that provide space or services to seniors to immediately implement routine cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and provide hand sanitizer at every facility exit and entrance.
  • The identification of City funds to pay for additional cleaning and disinfection of private senior homes and facilities across our City.
  • To identify funding for all Recreation & Park facility bathrooms be kept open 24/7 for unhoused Angelenos.
  • Implementation of a rental assistance and personal loan program for any Angeleno facing a loss of wages, or for tenants struggling to pay rent during the emergency declaration.
  • Support of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in Congress.
  • Support of federal action to increase production of COVID-19 test kits, and expedited review by the FDA of any new test kits being used in other countries.
  • Relevant City departments work with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health to ensure that all supplies and instruments associated with COVID-19 testing be in place once approved by the FDA, and that we identify any city-owned buildings, properties, and private labs that could be used as a walk-up or drive-up testing site.
  • Allocation of up to $1 million from my office’s Discretionary Fund to the Jewish Free Loan Association, to be dispersed for the purpose of personal loans, grants, residential rental assistance and/or rental assistance for small business owners in District 4.
  • Increase in the ceiling for awarding funds without the use of written contracts from Council discretionary funds from $5,000 to $25,000 during times of declared emergency.

CD 10 representative Herb Wesson also introduced a resolution to support federal legislation for a universal basic payment of $1,000 per month to all adult American “until COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our communities.”  And he introduced the following new city-focused motions, aimed specifically at protecting grocery store, drug store and food delivery employees:

  • Mandates that Grocery Retail, Drug Retail, and Food Delivery employees are allowed time to wash their hands every 30 minutes and that the employer provides all necessary sanitary cleaners and trainings on their proper use.
  • Access to coronavirus testing at no expense to worker for Grocery Retail, Drug Retail or food delivery workers.
  • Permission for workers to alter their schedules to address childcare and family needs arising from pandemic without retaliation and with good faith effort to maintain hours.
  • Offers of full-time hours to current employees before hiring new employees.

“In the midst of this crisis, the true unsung heroes are our grocery and food service workers who are ensuring that our stores and restaurants remain open and our shelves stay stocked,” Wesson said in a statement on social media. “They are on the front lines, and it’s incredibly important we keep them safe and healthy.”

(Note that both Ryu’s and Wesson’s motions are new introductions, and not fully passed yet.  They will be voted on at future City Council meetings.)

Also at the city level, Mayor Eric Garcetti has enacted several new parking policy revisions:

  • Relaxed enforcement of street sweeping restrictions in residential areas
  • Relaxed enforcement around closed schools
  • Moratorium on ticketing and towing for abandoned vehicles and oversize vehicle overnight parking fines
  • Freeze on parking fine increases for the next 60 days
  • Extended grace period for people dropping off or picking up groceries and goods
  • Immediate extension on all deadlines for payment due until June 1

Garcetti has also announced plans to help local small businesses, including a moratorium on commercial evictions, and the creation of a Small Business Resiliency Toolkit and Emergency MicroLoan Program.

Meanwhile, Ryu’s office also provided information about meals for senior citizens:

Graphic provided by City Council District 4

And LAPD has announced that will shift half of its detectives to street patrol duty.

At the state and federal levels, there have been other big announcements recently:

Finally, it’s worth noting that while our the count of local confirmed cases of COVID-19 remain low, the numbers will increase as testing capacity increases.  Just yesterday, there were five confirmed cases in West Hollywood, 2 in Culver City, 2 in the Melrose neighborhood, 1 in Koreatown and 1 in West Adams.  If you’d like to keep track of the spread, the LA Times has a handy live tracker, which tallies both current cases and other very helpful data.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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  1. Thanks for the super collection of well-organized information, as always. Hope the Buzz people are staying inside their hives these days. Just one little comment … that image of the enlarged virus is creeping me out. Yikes! Maybe that is the purpose of the image? (of course, all over the media, not only the Buzz) Stay well, grounded bees.


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