Yesterday, there were a number of new announcements about formal restrictions and less formal recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. At the state level, Governor Gavin Newsom urged people 65 and older, and those with chronic health conditions to isolate themselves as much as possible. And while Newsom also advised bars, breweries and tasting rooms to close statewide, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took things a step further, announcing a new set of citywide rules for various kinds of establishments where people tend to gather in large groups. According to the announcement, effective at 11:59 p.m. last night, the following establishments within the City of Los Angeles will be temporarily closed to the public:
- Bars and nightclubs that do not serve food;
- Movie theaters and live performance venues;
- Bowling alleys and arcades; and,
- Gyms and fitness centers
Also, all restaurants are prohibited from serving food to dine-in customers, but may continue to offer food via delivery, takeout, or drive-through service. Note that the restrictions DO NOT apply to grocery stores, or to cafeterias within hospitals, nursing homes, and similar facilities.
In addition to the closures, Garcetti announced, “Houses of worship are urged to limit large gatherings on their premises and to explore and implement ways to practice their respective faiths while observing social distancing practices” and “no landlord shall evict a residential tenant in the City of Los Angeles during this local emergency period if the tenant is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The mayor – like many other public officials in the last few days – also urged residents to buy only what they need to support their own families for the coming week, and not to hoard or panic-buy food and other items. “There is no shortage of food or interruption of our food supply,” he said.
Finally, according to Garcetti’s announcement, “The restrictions we’re putting in place will be effective through March 31, 2020, unless they are extended.”
For accurate and timely updates on the situation, see CDC.gov, PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and LAMayor.org/Coronavirus. You can also sign up for direct delivery of new anouncements through NotifyLA, the city’s mass notification system.