I know that this is a stressful time for everyone. Once again, I want to assure you that the City is taking steps to move forward proactively and strategically.
Our goal is to flatten the curve on the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and mitigate its impacts while we work with the County, State and Federal partners, to get more robust testing and treatment up and running. Please continue to check for updates at the City of Los Angeles (http://lacity.org) and the LA County Department of Health (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov),
All meetings in our City Hall and CD5 field offices will now occur via telephone or video conference. My staff is available by phone:
City Hall Downtown Los Angeles: (213) 473-7005
Valley District Office: (818) 971-3088
Westside District Office: (323) 866-1828
In addition, our Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez has made the decision to limit the number of public meetings held at City Hall in effort to enact social distancing and minimize exposure. City Council meetings will meet only on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. during the month of March (March 17, 24 and 31) and council committee meetings have all been cancelled for the remainder of the month.
To that end, we are working closely with our departments, agencies and associations to make sure our neighbors are prepared and safe. In fact, please be assured that the City will continue to deliver the services Angelenos depend on including sanitation, street cleaning, and other basic services all remain scheduled and operational.
Part of that partnership demands that we all work together to make sure we are taking care of our most vulnerable and continue to apply best hygiene practices that includes frequent handwashing. And while social distancing may feel inconvenient, remember that while you may be healthy, old or young, with symptoms or without them - social distancing is about protecting others as well as yourself. We have to continue to use common sense and look to the most factual and reliable sources of information. If you have not done so already, please be sure to sign up for NotifyLA for up-to-date information and guidance.
Yesterday, Governor Newsom asked that seniors over the age of 65 should try to self-isolate. He also asked that visits to assisted living facilities and hospitals are prohibited with the exception of end-of-life visits.
Also, Mayor Garcetti issued an emergency order to strengthen the City’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), placing temporary restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other establishments in the City of Los Angeles. The order includes temporary closure of bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters and entertainment venues, bowling alleys and arcades, and gyms and fitness centers. Restaurants, bars and retail food facilities may not serve food for consumption on their premises but may continue to offer food for delivery, takeout, or drive-thru.
This morning Mayor Garcetti held a press conference with the Grocers Association that is working very hard to keep their stores open, stocked and clean. They are assuring the public that food is continually en route to stores, there is no shortage nor interruption of supplies but ask that the public not hoard supplies because it puts a strain on the local community especially seniors who may need essentials. In fact, many grocers like Ralph’s/Food For Less and Costco are hiring more associates to help with the increased demand. Also, please be thoughtful when you encounter senior citizens at the store and help them get to the front of the line.
LADWP continues to inform customers that the water at their tap continues to be of the highest quality and is 100-percent safe to drink. There is no threat to Los Angeles’ public drinking water supply and no need to use bottled water.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
The following updates and guidelines are being implemented for best practices to keep our citizens safe, and to soften the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on local businesses and residents:
There are things that each of us can do to make a major difference, slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives:
- Wash your hands often
- Resist touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Wipe down surfaces
If you feel sick, stay home
And those who are 65 and over, have underlying health conditions, or are pregnant should avoid any non-essential travel or large gatherings.
Right now, gathering in big groups puts lives at risk. Interacting with fewer people for a few weeks will save lives, and will help keep our hospitals and healthcare workers from being inundated with cases. Old or young, with symptoms or without them — social distancing is your responsibility. You may be healthy, but it’s not just about protecting yourself. Others are vulnerable — protect them.
The City of LA, County and partnering agencies are building upon the work already underway to bring folks indoors.
50 hygiene stations have been set up across the city—delivering handwashing stations and hand sanitizer to our unsheltered population;
Mitigating Economic Impact
The City is in the process of creating a bridge loan program for small businesses that will be able to assist up to 400 applicants impacted by the crisis along with resources listed below:
- The City has set up a fund to accept donations that will be immediately deployed to pay for rental assistance, meals, supplies and other necessities. Learn more at https://mayorsfundla.org/covid19/
- As part of his Executive Order, the Mayor mandated a moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent due to the coronavirus epidemic
- DWP and the Gas Company have announced they will not turn off service for nonpayment of bills.
- The City and County are working to expand Meals on Wheels delivery to those most vulnerable
To help customers get through any financial hardships that may occur as a result of Coronavirus/COVID-19, LADWP will offer generous extended payment plans. Any impacted customer can request a payment plan online at www.ladwp.com or can make arrangements by calling customer care at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397). They have also deferred disconnections for non-payment through the remainder of March at this time.
Beware of Scams
LADWP will never call you to demand your personal information or immediate payment over the phone via gift cards. If you receive a call from someone who is threatening to shut off your water or power if you don't pay your LADWP bill over the phone, please be assured that this must be a scammer who is preying on unassuming customers. Hang up and call LADWP at 1-800-DIAL-DWP.
Similarly, the Social Security Administration will never threaten you or promise you increased benefits if you don’t provide them with personal information. There has been a recent spike in con artists targeting senior citizens to obtain personal information that can be used for identity theft. If you receive a Social Security Scam call, please report it to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271, or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
Report Price Gouging:
Under section 396 of the California Penal Code, price gouging is illegal upon proclamation of a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or the Governor, or upon the declaration of a local emergency by an official, board, or governing body of a county or city authorized to declare a local emergency.
For 30 days following such a proclamation or declaration, it is unlawful for a person, contractor, business, or other entity to sell or offer any food items or goods, goods or services used for emergency clean-up, emergency supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, building materials, housing, transportation, freight, storage services, or gasoline at a price that is more than 10% higher than the price charged by that person for those goods or services immediately prior to the proclamation or declaration of emergency.
City Attorney Mike Feuer urges anyone who is the victim of price gouging or who has information about it occurring in Los Angeles to file a complaint with the City Attorney’s Office online or by calling 213-978-8340. Reports may also be made to LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and LA County Counsel have created the Joint Coronavirus Task Force to stop illegal and dangerous practices including price gouging, scams and misinformation.
Other COVID-19 resources:
For those who need assistance to state and/or federal resources, or the latest information please utilize the services below:
Workers with reduced hours can file an unemployment claim: https://bit.ly/2w4gbX9
Small business ownersimpacted by COVID-19 can apply for a disaster loan up to $2 million: https://bit.ly/38Rtbg2
If you need to update your CoveredCA healthcare plan: https://www.coveredca.com/
If you do not have a healthcare provider, here is a list of LA County public health clinics: https://bit.ly/3cR1s2t
Looking for ways you can help?
There are plenty of ways to safely help out while following health officials' guidance on COVID19. Here are some options for getting involved in your community.