Today the Los Angeles City Council held an extensive hearing with the Emergency Management Department and all other appropriate City departments to provide a follow-up report on the City's response to the coronavirus/ COVID-19 outbreak. The robust discussion provided feedback on the City's current readiness and requirements to ramp up all City services to address and mitigate increasing virus occurrences throughout our City for the foreseeable future; and to identify our available resources and services necessary to to quickly implement the highest level of safety protocols and recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the LA County Health Department.
In January when health officials confirmed the first two cases of the virus in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, I introduced the first Coronavirus motion asking that the Los Angeles County Health Department report back on the potential effect of the virus on our residents. That motion was amended to provide City-wide guidance to rapidly prepare for increased telecommuting and direct City departments to clean the public spaces in public buildings more often, and to prepare a report on the necessary resources required to adopt universal precautions.
Today, I introduced a package of motions that address a wide variety of legislative and fundamental tactics to quickly best facilitate safety protections for everyone in Los Angeles including our youth, our seniors, our healthy, and our most vulnerable. These motions address our residents and visitors, our City employees, our public health workers and our homeless populations.
Please continue to practice social distancing at every opportunity. Please maintain careful highest hygiene standards by regularly washing your hands and avoid touching your face. Pay attention to potential COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you develop symptoms, call your doctor or local public health department.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Councilmember Koretz authored, co-presented and/or seconded the following package of motions regarding the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic:
Prepare a draft ordinance requiring landlords and residential mortgage-holders to work out payment plans and extensions that would allow financial relief for tenants and homeowners impacted by the pandemic. Including:
Rent forgiveness through a City-wide rental assistance fund.
Moratorium on evictions for small businesses suffering pandemic-related revenue loss.
Recommendations for reducing or waiving gross receipts tax liability; delaying business tax collection; waiving late penalties, and other business fees.
Small business loan assistance.
Recommendations to assist homeless individuals in encampments to more easily comply with public health advice and directives regarding hygiene and social distancing. This includes instructing LASAN and other relevant agencies to provide installation and servicing of port-a-potties, dumpsters, vermin-proof trash cans; mobile showers; hand-washing stations with soap and water at all major encampments.
Report actions necessary to acquire and site tiny homes, trailers, container homes, or other alternative housing and shelter options, and to expedite the completion of all Bridge Home sites.
Prepare a draft ordinance to require supermarkets to dedicate the first hour of customer business exclusively to senior citizens and the disabled community.
Engage experts to establish potential budgetary impacts of the Novel Coronavirus and a national recession on the local, state and federal economies, and specifically the steps the City may have to take to responsibly accommodate these impacts in budgetary decisions.
Urge the federal government to increase COVID-19 test availability; seek City-owned lots for potential drive-through COVID-19 testing; and request that all medical systems, including Kaiser Permanente and Cedars-Sinai, implement drive-through testing for patients with COVID-19 symptoms to minimize exposure to the virus.
Review, reduce, and suspend non-essential outside contracts to stem unnecessary expenditures in order to reprioritize higher-priority services.
Report back on establishing and enforcing cleanliness and sanitation standards for Short Term Rentals, and alternatively explore potential home sharing suspension in Los Angeles until Coronavirus pandemic emergency is deemed to be in abeyance.
Protections for tourism industry supporting more than 500,000 jobs in LA County by delaying Transient Occupancy Taxes, waiving penalties and/or late payment interests causing undue burdens.
Increase safety measures and staff to improve social distancing procedures, reduce queuing and overcrowding at Los Angeles airports.
Increase oversight, additional training and emergency procedures related to aircrafts and airports with ongoing status updates as to training, protocols, and compliance for airport hygiene, cleaning and safety protocols for LAWA employees and contracted workforce.
Emergency ordinance to protect workers, including a citywide worker retention policy that requires paid time to take breaks, wash hands, and attend to other matters of hygiene.
MORE CORONAVIRUS UPDATES & RESOURCES:
Relaxed Parking Enforcement
Mayor Garcetti announced a temporary halt to the issuance of several parking citations so that Angelenos can more effectively practice the safe social distancing necessary during the outbreak.
The order, which will be in place until March 31 and is subject to extension. Enforcement will be maintained on operations that prioritize health, safety, and emergency access — including colored curbs, street sweeping around encampments, peak-hour restrictions, and repaving and slurry operations. It will also continue at metered spaces to encourage parking turnover for businesses and restaurants relying on takeout and deliveries.
Read more at http://Mayor.LA/OSdG30qqmBH
LAUSD Opens Sixty Grab & Go Food Centers
Los Angeles Unified School District, in partnership with the Red Cross, will continue to provide nutritious meals to all students who need them during the temporary closure of schools. Their Grab & Go Food Centers will be open beginning Wednesday, March 18, and will be staffed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Each child can take home two nutritious meals. To find the closest Grab & Go Food Center, see the map below or check the list of centers on this page.
The locations in or close to Council District 5 include:
Mulholland Middle School, 17120 Vanowen St, Lake Balboa, CA 91406
University High School Charter, 11800 Texas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Fairfax High School, 7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Palms Middle School, 10860 Woodbine St, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Locations and updates are available at https://achieve.lausd.net/resources or you can look up a location closest to you here. LAUSD Family Hotline: 213-443-1300
LAPD Announces Deployment of Area Detectives and Front Desk Operations
Los Angeles - In an effort to augment staffing levels, reassure the public, and create a safe environment for our employees, The Los Angeles Police Department is modifying some of our regular services. We ask for your patience during this time, as this shift of resources may impact the public.
Effective immediately, we will be deploying 50 percent of our area detective workforce to uniformed patrol assignments. These dedicated resources will perform high visibility patrols to critical locations throughout our 21 geographic areas, ensuring the safety of the residents and any store operators that may be dealing with very large crowds.
This deployment is not a response to any specific heightened criminal activity. To date, we have experienced very few isolated non-medical calls for service throughout the entire region related to the health emergency. There is no indication that there will be any change to this posture. We have seen Angelenos rise to the occasion by social distancing, good hygiene and sheltering with loved ones.
Also, starting Wednesday, all of our geographic areas will be closing their front desks and walk-up service. This move is an effort to ensure social distancing and do our part to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Instead of going to your local area station, we are asking the public to use unique email addresses assigned to each of our 21 area front desks. Those emails will be monitored 24/7 and routed to the proper channels. Rest assured, we will still respond to crimes in progress or a crime in need of immediate follow up, as Watch Commanders will dispatch patrol officers to those incidents.
There will be some exceptions to the closures for specific business that requires an in-person meeting including, but not limited to:
An officer will give specific directions on how those visits will be handled.
These new guidelines will greatly reduce contact between members of the public and Department personnel, hopefully ensuring the health and well-being of our workforce.
The LAPD is committed to providing professional service for our community and keeping our employees healthy, is critical as we continue to protect and serve the people of Los Angeles.
More information is available at the LAPD website: http://lapdonline.org/home/news_view
LOS ANGELES - Federal emergency funds are available for small businesses across the country that are affected by the spread of Coronavirus. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.
ASSISTANCE FOR WORKERS
LOS ANGELES - The State's Employment Development Department is providing a variety of support services to workers affected by COVID-19. If you are a California worker who has tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19, unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, or have lost your job due to the virus, you may qualify for a claim and receive benefit payments. The EDD provides a variety of support services to individuals affected by COVID-19 in California. For faster and more convenient access to those services, we encourage the use of online options. More information is available here at https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
For all of the most up-to-date information on Coronavirus/ COVID-19, continue to check back at the following official websites:
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles Unified School District
Sign Up for NotifyLA
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority