Amid a series of press questions on Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti noted that “safer-at-home” COVID-19 coronavirus measures in Los Angeles would begin to be eased in as soon as two weeks. However, the Mayor also said that any social distancing easements in the coming weeks could all not happen at once, but rather in stages and be more gradual.
Mayor Garcetti said “the curve really is beginning to flatten,” as well as the success of social distancing measures. “It’s really about scaling, testing, safeguarding Angelenos. And still continuing to stay at home, probably for the majority of things that we do, and for the majority of workers,” stated Mayor Garcetti. “But seeing those numbers come down, testing those for two to three weeks, seeing if there’s a spike. If not, take another step forward. So it has to be kind of a series of sequences.”
“If we open up the wrong way, we could have, by August 1st, 95 percent of us with COVID-19, and I don’t have to tell you the tens of thousands of deaths that would cause,” added the Mayor. “I’m not going to let people die simply because folks feel we need to be wide open.”
Garcetti also explained that currently it is “way too early” for schools to reopen in Los Angeles. While many colleges and universities have remained mixed on reopening for the fall semester, many school systems have yet to even give a ballpark reopening date. The Los Angeles Unified School District even recently announced that no schools would reopen until testing and contact tracing were put into effect.
“We haven’t heard anything concrete yet,” said Ana Gonzalez, a teacher in Los Angeles. “We’re all thinking we’ll be back in the fall, but there’s been nothing official. So right now we have to try and make the most over distance learning, and we had to fight to make that happen.”
Testing for many residents was also expanded on Monday, with many new asymptomatic essential workers now being able to test. Delivery workers, ride-share drivers, taxi drivers, and journalists can now test in Los Angeles.
“These are folks that are on the front line, helping us get where we need to go, delivering food to our apartments,” conveyed Garcetti.
With LA County lockdown measures expiring on May 15th, there is now a good chance that the Los Angeles area can be open sometime in May. This is in direct contrast with San Francisco, where Mayor London Breed just announced that the coronavirus lockdown will continue until at least June 1st.