From Mayor Eric Garcetti <[email protected]>
Subject Taking urgent action to stop the spread
Date November 19, 2020 6:22 PM
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The COVID-19 pandemic is still here –– and our city, like most of the country, is in a very dangerous situation.  

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Hi ,

The COVID-19 pandemic is still here –– and our city, like most of the country, is in a very dangerous situation.

The U.S. is breaking new infection records every day and averaging more than one COVID-19 death every minute. Yet here in L.A., we know we have the power to take back control of this virus, stop its spread, and save lives.

Each of us needs to take immediate action:
* Stay home as much as possible.
* If you go out, assume everyone you encounter is infectious.
* Keep your distance wherever you are and wear a mask when you’re outside your home.
* Avoid indoor gatherings.

When the novel coronavirus reached our city months ago, Los Angeles acted swiftly. We were among the first cities in America to issue a Safer at Home order. We built a vast testing infrastructure, and we were one of the first to expand testing to people with or without symptoms. We took steps to address racial disparities in infections and deaths, deliver relief to our hardest-hit families, and house our homeless neighbors.

We made immense sacrifices, as individuals and as a community. And as your mayor, I assured you that we would do everything we can to keep L.A. safe.

I know we continue asking you to do more –– to remain vigilant and be patient. I know it’s been a long year, and we’re all exhausted right now. But looking back, it’s clear that our early actions saved lives. Angelenos rose to the challenge. We were resilient and led with #LALove.

We need to summon that spirit again to halt the rise in COVID-19 cases, protect public health, stay safe, and defeat this virus.
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Updates from the County
This week, the County announced new restrictions ([link removed]) , effective on Friday, to help keep families safe across our region. Outdoor restaurants, breweries, and wineries will be limited to 50% outdoor capacity. For non-essential businesses that are permitted to operate indoors, including retail stores, offices, and personal care services, occupancy will be limited to 25%. And restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Personal care establishments may provide services by appointment only, and customers and staff must wear face coverings. Personal care services that require the removal of face coverings are not permitted nor can food and drink be served in these establishments. You can find more details about these and other changes on the County’s website ([link removed]) .

It is critical that Angelenos do their part to slow the spread so that we can avoid imposing additional restrictions or moving to another Safer at Home order. We have been successful in the past at preventing transmission. We can do it again.

Preparing for the holidays
With the holidays approaching, the CDC has issued guidance for Thanksgiving, urging Americans to celebrate virtually or in-person only with members of their own household. This isn’t what anyone wants to hear. But these steps will help keep our loved ones safe.

Please don't travel to visit other cities or host others from out of town. If you do, please follow the California state guidelines ([link removed]) for travel which include limiting non-essential travel. If you must travel, you should quarantine for 14 days after returning home to California.

To help you get through this time, we’ve compiled a list of virtual activities and ways to celebrate safely. Read more at ([link removed]) .
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Innovating rapid testing for COVID-19
From the start, L.A. leaders have understood a fundamental fact: testing saves lives. So we have kept seeking ways to innovate and expand our COVID-19 testing effort.

I recently joined USC researchers and L.A. County officials to announce a collaboration ([link removed]) to study the use of inexpensive, rapid-results coronavirus tests among first responders and school-aged children.
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Thanks to this partnership, L.A. is one of the first metropolitan areas in America to create a large-scale pilot to deploy and analyze rapid tests in people with or without symptoms.

These rapid antigen tests cost less, deliver results within 15 minutes, and have the potential to be self-administered.

This could be a game-changer, and we are excited for L.A. to lead the way on this new method of testing.

Expanding testing
Innovation is only one facet of our focus on building up our testing infrastructure. We are also growing our existing operation to reach as many Angelenos as possible.

To respond to the surging demand, we are expanding our mobile testing program ([link removed]) , which serves high-need areas of the city. And we’re opening a large walk-up site in the Northeast Valley on Monday to serve even more families.

With the City surpassing more than 2 million tests conducted since launching our testing program –– and with flu season beginning and case numbers rising, we are staying prepared with greater capacity at:
* Dodger Stadium, now open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., with the ability to test up to 13,000 people per day.
* All other testing sites, now open two hours longer than before –– from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Together, we can now test more than 34,000 people each day.

We will never stop fighting to keep our city safe. If you need a COVID-19 test ([link removed]) , please get one today. And don’t forget to get your flu shot ([link removed]) .

Thanks for reading.

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Eric Garcetti
Your Mayor
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