March 6, 2020   

Dear Friends,

A word about the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.  In a time when the worldwide spread of the coronavirus is of increasing concern, the impacts here in Los Angeles on the ground are fluid and raising a lot of questions.  Each day brings new developments and the uncertainty about the virus and its potential impacts can be unsettling.

That is why I filed a motion asking Dr. Muntu Davis, the LA County Health Officer, to join us in City Council this past Wednesday to discuss the potential effect of coronavirus to City residents and to vital City operations.  We were also joined by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) interim CEO Justin Erbacci and Emergency Management Department General Manager Aram Sahakian.  

In addition, that same day, Mayor Garcetti joined the LA County Board of Supervisors in declaring a State of Emergency which creates a mechanism to ask for funding and medical support from county, state and federal government agencies. It also provides resources for staffing and agency coordination.  My colleague and friend, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, said it best, "What we are declaring is a state of emergency preparedness."

The County has now announced 11 known cases of coronavirus in the area. The individuals with the virus had close contact with individuals who traveled to Italy or with someone who had the virus. Dr. Davis made it clear that there is at this time no immediate threat to the general public and no special precautions are required other than the ones described below. While the virus is not yet spreading in the general public here in LA, transmission pathways have been traced for each of the known local cases of coronavirus, it is possible and, frankly, likely, that it will happen at some point.

I am pleased to say, with the LA County Health Department at the helm, we have a world-class and well-staffed operation underway aiming to mitigate any outbreaks and handle the growing threat.  My staff participates in now-twice weekly update calls and has been participating in collecting and encouraging best practices, such as surge planning and planning for impacts to our at-risk homeless population.  You can be assured we will continue to participate in and monitor the situation as it evolves.

Please note: Out of an abundance of caution related to the spread of COVID-19, Persian New Year “Norooz” / “Nowruz” Celebrations at UCLA on March 8, including the Darya Dadvar concert at Royce Hall are now officially cancelled.  In addition, the annual Westwood Blvd./ Persian Square Norooz festival that was scheduled for March 22, has also been canceled. 

However, we are still proceeding with the Norooz Celebration Foundation’s upcoming celebration on March 20 in Los Angeles City Council Chambers at 10:00 a.m., to be followed by a tea and pastry reception in the City Hall rotunda.  RSVP by clicking here.



What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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.

What we know at this time:

  • There are only a few known COVID-19 cases in the region.

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most ill. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms.

  • Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) are not recommending personal face masks be used by individuals who do not have prolonged exposure to individuals who have been identified as at risk.  It is more important for those items to be available to our health care providers.

  • As of today, there are no reports of any vessel crew members displaying symptoms of the coronavirus at the Port of Los Angeles (PoLA).

Stick with official sources for accurate and up-to-date information, including,, and

Sign up for NotifyLA, our city’s emergency notification system, at .

Please see frequently asked questions on the infographic below or click here for Coronavirus/ COVID-19 FAQ.



Public safety remains the top priority for Councilmember Koretz.  Whether considering and working to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the day to day safety concerns of our communities and organizations, or preventing the impending dangers related to natural disasters, Councilmember Koretz and staff spend quite a bit of time in the field making sure we are all well prepared.  Part of that work is our cohesive relationships and on-going communication with the men and women of our Police, Fire, and Emergency departments throughout the district and at command headquarters.

Councilmember Koretz recently met with Operations Valley Bureau Deputy Chief Jorge Rodriguez and Operations Valley Bureau Commander Alan Hamilton to discuss current crime trends and to review new public and community safety strategies enhancements. Councilmember Koretz stands in support of the Deputy Chief’s priorities, including increasing Community Volunteer Patrols. In fact, he committed funding for uniforms and vehicle signage for the program. The meeting concluded with an eye toward the future, with specific focus on enforcement measures in Encino.

  Councilmember was joined by LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Assistant Chief Horace Frank, Deputy Chief Jesse Eisenberg and Deputy Chief Peter Zarcone at Jewish Federation safety forum.

Among other issues of concern, Councilmember Koretz works proactively to safeguard our religious institutions from the increasing number of hate crimes throughout the region.  He was proud to participate in the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles’ forum, along with Los Angeles Police Department’s Command Staff, to discuss strategies to strengthen security measures of religious institutions with Jewish leadership from the region.  The meeting participants, including Rabbi’s and Schul leadership, discussed efforts to have security assessments at institutions throughout the City as well as the City’s commitment to safe neighborhoods.

  Councilmember Koretz’s Director of Public Safety Gregory Martayan and Field Deputy Christopher Givens met with the LAPD and Mayor’s Office of Public Safety on security grant opportunities for the community.

Among the discussions and meeting outcomes was the coordination of a security grant workshop in the Fifth District for all houses of worship, non-profit institutions and schools. This helpful workshop is taking place on Tuesday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the Skirball Cultural Center to help organizations identify and apply for federal and state security grants, including grant writing techniques. 

For more information, please see the flyer below and RSVP to



The 2020 Los Angeles Marathon is THIS Sunday, March 8

The 2020 Los Angeles Marathon will take place this Sunday, March 8. The racecourse has not changed over the past few years and the map is available by clicking this link. The race course begins at Dodgers Stadium and finishes up by the sea in Santa Monica, passing through and near many ionic Los Angeles areas and places.

The Marathon has HUGE impacts on the traffic.  Click here for street and freeway closure lists at the official LA Marathon website at

Census 2020 - Are You Ready To Be Counted?

Census 2020 is around the corner. The results will determine not only our representation in Congress, but how more than $115 billion is spent every year on California schools, healthcare, housing, transportation, and other vital programs in our neighborhoods.

But we won’t get an accurate count in 2020 unless everyone participates.

Your 2020 Census invitation should arrive in your mailbox this month. To submit your responses online please use the user ID included in your mailing and submit responses at

Did you know…

  • Los Angeles County is the hardest-to-count in the country.
  • It is estimated that the City of Los Angeles receives billions every year in federal funding.
  • Census data helps drive funding for programs like Medi-Cal, Title 1 grants, Special Education grants, SNAP (food stamps), Head Start, the repair and construction of highways, bridges, roads, and more.
  • For the first time since obtaining statehood in 1850, California missed an opportunity to gain a seat in Congress after the 2010 Census by an estimated 13,000 individuals.
Follow Us    

This message was sent to  by:

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005