Header Image - Paul Koretz
November 20, 2020   

Dear Friends,

Thanksgiving is upon us and this year with startling pandemic spikes during the holiday season, it greatly tests our deepest values.   It is difficult to deny the longing we all feel about returning to the so-called “normal” way of life we knew before the pandemic began eight months ago.  However, the desire to spend time with family and friends on Thanksgiving needs to be considered in the context of prioritizing the safety of loved ones. Certainly, these crucial decisions should take into account the latest reports of more than 1 million COVID-19 cases in the United States over the last 7 days.  

Therefore, as cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with only the people you already live with.  Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you will increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.  Our ability to turn around our skyrocketing COVID numbers depends on how well we avoid gatherings on Thanksgiving.  Please resist that temptation to help keep us all alive.

In addition, the County of Los Angeles announced Tuesday evening its plan to tighten its restrictions and implement a curfew for non-essential businesses beginning today, November 20th due to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout the County.  The following measures now in effect include:

  • Implementing a curfew for restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars and all other non-essential retail establishments requiring them to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Limiting maximum capacity to 25% for non-essential indoor businesses such as retail stores, offices and personal care services;

  • Limiting maximum capacity to 50% for outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries;

  • Limiting maximum capacity to 50% at cardrooms, outdoor mini-golf, go-karts and batting cages;

  • Requiring appointments-only at personal care establishments;

  • Prohibiting services that require customers to remove their face coverings such as facials and shaves and not allowing food and drinks to be served to customers at these establishments.

Yesterday, Mayor Garcetti sent the message you will find below, which includes important updates and information about testing and new restrictions for local businesses. Please read the message carefully and share it with your friends and neighbors. 

Signature of Paul Koretz
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District



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.

Updates from the County
This week, the County announced new restrictions, 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 LA County’s website.

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 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 Coronavirus.LACity.org/Holidays.

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 to study the use of inexpensive, rapid-results coronavirus tests among first responders and school-aged children.

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 to study the use of inexpensive, rapid-results coronavirus tests among first responders and school-aged children.

Eric Garcetti
Your Mayor



Free COVID-19 Testing Available Across LA County

More than 100 locations operated by the State, County, CVS and Rite Aid Pharmacies, and private clinics now offer free COVID-19 testing across Los Angeles County. To find a location closest to you and to register for an appointment please visit: https://corona-virus.la/testing-center-directory

Image of smart phone word Free COVID-19 Testing

Get Your Flu Shot

People with masks - Spread Facts Not Flu

FLU SEASON is upon us so please make sure to get your flu shot.  As you know, the flu is more than a bad cold, it can be mild to severe, and at times can lead to life-threatening illness, hospitalization, or even death. This year, the flu and COVID-19 will be circulating simultaneously in communities throughout LA County, and both can cause serious illness. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is  for all of you to get a flu immunization.  

Get Your No Cost Flu ShotIn fact,  Anthem Blue Cross is offering free flu shots this week (including non-members) at the Collins & Katz Family YMCA (1466 S Westgate Avenue) in West Los Angeles  at the following times:

  • November 23,10:00 a.m. to  12:00 p.m.

  • November 25, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • November 30, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Please register here

For more information, including where to locate a flu immunization at low or no-cost, please call 2-1-1 from anywhere in Los Angeles County or click here.  You can also call your local pharmacy or your doctor to see if flu shots are available there.  Receiving your flu shot is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of getting sick this season.

Happy Furry Giving Adoption Event

Adopt a new furry friend from LA Animal Services as The Paula Kent Meehan Pet Care Foundation will sponsor the Happy Furry Giving adoption event from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21th through Sunday, November 22nd.  Find your new animal companion by going online at laanimalservices.com to view all of our cats, kittens, and dogs, and then watch The Pack this weekend on Amazon Prime Video with your new four-legged family member. 

During Happy Furry Giving, adoption fees will be reduced for dogs by $50. Adoption fees for cats will be waived by the Paula Kent Meehan Pet Care Foundation and adoption fees for kittens will be waived through a generous grant from the ASPCA. When you adopt from LA Animal Services, your adoption fees include the pet’s vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, and microchip. While dog adoption fees are reduced, there will be a $20 dog license fee applied for LA City residents. What better way to give thanks than to give an orphaned pet a home?  You’ll be repaid with unconditional love and laughs for years to come!


Here to Serve

My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email paul.koretz@lacity.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.



This message was sent to  by:

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