Mayor of LA Update: Nonessential Businesses that Don't Heed Repeated Warnings to Close May Face Charges, Utilities Shut Off

They've been warned

March 25, 2020
Los Angeles Coronavirus

Mario Tama / Staff


(Via KNX 1070)

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti had a message for the young people in LA County and Los Angeles saying they can save a life by following safety procedures and social distancing.

There have been 11 deaths in LA County including the first death of a child under the age of 18.

"We will not be back to that normal in that short period of time," Garcetti said.

He said he foresaw staying at home will probably be more like a couple of months in LA. President Trump said he hopes to have the country back to normal by Easter.

He said SoCal needs the federal government to continue to act quickly to get the supplies they need. He stressed the importance of the Safer at Home order implemented this month, social distancing and cutting back on gatherings.

Garcetti also called out nonessential businesses that are still functioning because it puts everyone's health at risk. LA residents won't have their utilities such as water or power cut off but those nonessential businesses that continue to operate will and may face charges, according to Garcetti.

"You know who you are," he said.

He also mentioned a one-stop portal where a medical professional can sign up to help, paid or pro bono, at

Earlier this week, Garcetti checked in with the community asking them to "save lives," and thanked the first responders and those who are still going to work and still doing their essential jobs.

He said he was ramping up the testing capacity to fight the virus, adding he was going to bring more testing kits to Los Angeles and working with the LA County and both the private and public sectors.

The criteria for the coronavirus tests can be found at the testing portal  and Garcetti said the tests are for the most vulnerable and testing the front line workers.

"We are not sitting still," he said, adding there was information on the online portal that outlines four new testing facilities.

About 780 people signed up and got tested today, he said. On top of that, he said they have already tested 325,000 medical workers, police, first responders, those working with the homeless and those working on the front lines.

Through an emergency order, Garcetti also allowed restaurants to deliver alcoholic beverages.

When it came to transportation he said Metro Los Angeles riders will use the back door to board the buses, except for those who have accessibility issues.

He also said there would be a moratorium on Ellis Act evictions in the city.

He said the city activated eight recreation sites for the homeless so they can stay safe inside.

Last week, Garcetti addressed the public about coronavirus praising them for their resilience and their efforts to be conscious about the outbreak and virus.

As of Friday, there were 61 new coronavirus, 101 new cases in the last 48 hours, according to LA County Public Health in a press conference in the afternoon. There are currently 292 cases in LA County. 

On Thursday LA County officials announced a Safer at Home order ordering residents to stay at home and closing all nonessential businesses until April 19 or longer if needed. People can only go out for essential things like groceries, getting gas, medications and more.

He said it was "ok to cry" in a time like this adding everyone has been showing great spirit during this outbreak.

Some new solutions in the pipeline include adding more than 1000 beds into eight shelters for the homeless population,  and expecting 13 centers up and running by Saturday and house people at a total fo 42 sites in the weeks to come.

He added the city is working with the designer, garment and apparel representatives to start making non-medical masks and expand the production of badly needed hospital gowns.

He said there's a lot of "LA love" going around in the city right now with people social distancing from each other when they are out and trying to help each other and the elderly.

"We want to lessen the social separation between our lives and our city. We will need each other now more than ever. I love that way of thinking about it. Right now it's about socially coming together even as we physically distance from each other," he said.

Garcetti stressed everyone should stay home but people can keep getting gas or picking up medications.

"There's plenty of food," he said adding you can still order food for pick-up or delivery from a restaurant.

Garcetti told the public what the order means and how it focuses on the public's health and safety.

He stressed, "Don't go to an emergency room if you don't have a medical emergency and if you do need to go in, use strict physical social distancing practices."

The order to stay at home for LA County came right before Gov. Newsom announced a state-wide stay-at-home directive Thursday.