Travelers coming through Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports and Union Station beginning Wednesday will be required to sign a form acknowledging California’s recommended 14-day self-quarantine in response to rising coronavirus rates.
The form will be available at travel.lacity.org, Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a coronavirus briefing Monday.
Garcetti urged people to not travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, not even to go across town because of how widespread COVID-19 cases have been and that it’s too dangerous at this time.
Garcetti said he is confident the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which is slated at Tuesday’s meeting to discuss coronavirus-related restrictions and closures, will make the right decisions.
“I know this is not popular with everybody, but if we don’t take these actions now, when will we?” Garcetti said. “I know there may be some push and pull … but I think the policies that (the county Department of Public Health) adopted are clear.”
Garcetti said when local government has hesitated implementing COVID-19 restrictions, businesses have had to remain closed for longer because of the spread of the virus. But he also said he knows businesses are struggling.
“I’ve spoken with our City Council President (Nury Martinez), I’ve spoken with our county supervisors, and know that if those orders do come down, where we have to stop outdoor dining or limit the hours of other businesses, we will take the funds that we have in business assistance and surge them into those industries to get us through this period to keep those businesses alive to protect those jobs and to make sure that they can stand up again,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti said Los Angeles County could be out of hospital beds for coronavirus patients by Christmastime, if the rate of COVID-19 positive cases continues on its current trend.
Field hospitals may have to be established if that happens, Garcetti said. However, Garcetti said he doesn’t think the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship Mercy will need to return. It docked at the Port of Los Angeles for use in non-coronavirus cases over the spring and summer as safeguard against a lack of hospital beds that did not materialize.
Garcetti said he had a discussion Monday with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris regarding the state of Los Angeles and its fight against COVID-19, telling them the virus will spread further if people don’t follow health protocols.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done last week or last month,” Garcetti said he told Biden and Harris. “COVID doesn’t care what we’ve done before today.
“COVID only cares how we are acting right now, and the moment we stop acting to protect lives, the moment we ignore the numbers or hope that somehow they will just go away is the moment lives are lost.”
COVID-19 testing sites in Los Angeles will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, but will reopen Saturday, Garcetti said.
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