Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s Message (3/4/2020)
As your mayor, there is no greater priority than keeping you safe.
There is a lot of fear spreading about coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 — and I want to make sure you hear directly from me about what actions our City is taking to protect our families and residents, and what precautions you should take to stay healthy.
This morning, I joined our County leaders to provide the public with an update on everything we are doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect public health. I have signed a declaration of local emergency for the City of Los Angeles.
While there are only a few known COVID-19 cases in the region, the declaration helps us access state and federal funding to strengthen and support our efforts to prepare our region and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Simply put: we will do everything in our power, leave no stone unturned, and no resource untapped to preserve Angelenos’ safety and well-being.
Here’s what you should know: COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath — and may appear as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Person-to-person spread mainly occurs from contact with an infected person coughing or sneezing (similar to the flu). In rare cases, it may be possible that COVID-19 can be transmitted by touching an infected surface or object.
Here’s what the City is doing:
- We’ve declared a local state of emergency to access additional resources that will help our region prepare.
- We’ve activated our City Emergency Operations Center to a heightened level of vigilance.
- The City is working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) and the County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to share updates, guidance, and information on COVID-19.
- All City Departments are reviewing and updating Continuity of Operations Plans to ensure that they can continue delivering essential services in the event of an emergency.
- The Port of Los Angeles and San Pedro Bay Complex are on heightened alert. The Coast Guard is assessing all inbound vessels to determine whether the vessel has visited a country impacted by COVID-19 within the last five ports of call. Vessel operators are required to report ill crewmembers and passengers within 15 days of arrival to any U.S. port.
- LAX is following the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and L.A. County DPH — including screening travelers with possible exposure and following best practices to keep travelers and employees safe. This includes installing more than 250 additional hand sanitizer stations and using virus and bacteria-killing disinfectants throughout the airport. We’re cleaning public areas and restrooms at least once every hour, and increasing deep cleaning — focusing on high touch areas like handrails, escalators, elevator buttons, and restroom doors. We’re also adding signage with information on COVID-19 symptoms and how to reduce the spread of illness.
Here’s what you can do:
- Take precautions: If you are sick, stay home. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Get a flu shot to prevent the flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19. If you have recently traveled in an area with COVID-19 infections and are showing symptoms, monitor your health and seek guidance from a medical professional. Currently, the CDC and DPH are not recommending personal face masks be used by people who do not have prolonged exposure to individuals identified as at risk.
- Plan ahead: Living in earthquake country, we know the importance of personal preparedness on any given day. Have extra food, water, medical supplies, and emergency kits in your homes and offices. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors to develop emergency plans.
- Stay informed: Stick with official sources for accurate and up-to-date information, including CDC.gov, PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and LAMayor.org/Coronavirus. Sign up for NotifyLA, our city’s emergency notification system, at NotifyLA.org.
Thank you for reading. Please share this email with your friends and family to help them stay safe and healthy.