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

COVID-19 Update: New Case Record; Homeless Count Cancelled; LA County Parking Relaxations

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s annual “Point in Time” homeless count for 2021 has been cancelled because of COVID-19.

It was another record-setting day for COVID-19 in LA County yesterday, with 12,819 new cases reported, 74 deaths, and – according to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s update last night – ICU availability falling to just 7.7% in the Southern California region.


While Garcetti referred to the “horror” of the situation, however, he also spoke at length about the hope generated by current vaccine news:  83,000 doses will arrive in Los Angeles within the next few days, as many as 500,000 doses should arrive by the end of December, and the first vaccine distributions are scheduled to begin at the beginning of next week, for those most in need.

Even so, though, the mayor cautioned that the situation will remain dire for months yet, and that “the worst is not yet behind us.”  Noting that we’re now experiencing the consequences of careless Thanksgiving gatherings, he said we need to make sure an additional Christmas surge doesn’t happen on top of our current numbers.  People need to continue to abide by the statewide Safer at Home order that’s currently in effect, he said, stay at home as much as possible, and wear masks whenever we go out…even compliance is challenging and it’s increasingly hard to maintain our resolve.

“This sucks,” Garcetti said. “None of us likes these rules, none of us wants to be home…but we can do this…we just need to get through these last few months of darkness before the dawn.”   Likening the situation to the last grueling miles of a marathon, Garcetti said we must maintain our willpower, and set our hearts and minds on the mission of saving lives.  And there’s just one good way to do that:  “Stay at home and steer clear of people.”


Homeless Count Cancelled


Volunteers checking in for the 2017 homeless count in the Greater Wilshire area.


Adding to the ever-lengthening list of events that have been cancelled due to the pandemic, the Los Angeles Homeless Count announced yesterday that its annual “Point in Time” count, for which the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority engages armies of volunteers each year to comb the streets for a visual census of unhoused neighbors during a single night in January, has been called off for 2021.

In a letter to the community yesterday, Los Angeles Homeless Count representative Clementina Verjan said the decision to cancel the event was not an easy one, but the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has officially granted LA an exemption from its usually-required street-based count. (LAHSA will still conduct its annual counts of people in shelters and other kinds of supportive housing.)

In the same letter, LAHSA Executive Director Heidi Marston said that, “After listening to community partners, receiving guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and taking into account curfews and stay-at-home orders across the region, LAHSA determined that there is no safe way to gather the 8,000 volunteers necessary to conduct the 2021 PIT Count and collect data as accurately as it has done in previous years.”

Also, Marston said the count could increase COVID-19 spread among the subjects of the count. “Because our unsheltered population is being infected at a lower rate,” Marston wrote, “bringing more people into their areas may add unnecessary risk.”

In addition, the current state and County safer at home rules also make it more difficult for volunteers to be out at night for the count, which further limits the ability to do the necessary work and tally accurate numbers this year.

The bottom line, said Marston, is that “Feedback from community partners and volunteers regarding resources and capacity indicates that the community does not have the bandwidth to support an unsheltered count” and “We are concerned that the accuracy of a 2021 unsheltered count would not be comparable to past and future unsheltered counts given these impediments.”


LA County Parking Relaxation



And finally in pandemic-related news yesterday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office announced that, effective immediately, it will stop ticketing vehicles for parking violations on street sweeping days, and for expired vehicle registration.  Ticketing will continue, however, for:

  • Blocking fire hydrants.
  • Red zone parking and/or fire lane.
  • Handicap parking violations.
  • Blocking driveways.
  • Parked vehicles which disrupt the flow of traffic.
  • Metered parking in business districts.

It’s important to note, however, that this announcement applies only to unincorporated areas of LA County, not to the City of Los Angeles.  While the City of Los Angeles relaxed many parking rules for several months earlier this year, those relaxations expired on October 1, and parking enforcement in the city returned to normal at that point.  So far, the city has not made any new changes to its parking rules, despite the fact that the current COVID-19 surge has required more people to work from home again.  One small consolation is that there is still an “Early Pay” program in place, which provides a 20% discount to people who pay their parking citations within 48 hours of the citation being issued, and that program is scheduled to remain in effect until at least June 30, 2021.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
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.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }