The heads of several key Los Angeles departments updated the City Council Tuesday on their plans of operation and problems they’ve incurred since the outbreak of coronavirus.
Justin Erbacci, the interim director of Los Angeles World Airports, said there have been some airport employees, including an airport police officer and construction workers, who contracted COVID-19.
“We continue to take action in the airports to make sure the airports are clean and safe for guests and employees,” Erbacci said. “We’ve deployed additional hand sanitizers in the airports”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are screening people at the airport who have flown in from China, Iran and Europe, Erbacci said, and there has been a 50% decrease of passengers traveling from those areas. Some airlines have announced a reduction of half their flights, with many international flights being canceled, he said.
The CDC is trying different types of screening at the airports to not have so many people near each other, such as keeping patients in airplanes during testing, Erbacci said.
LAWA has created an economic impact task force to see what airlines are doing to get through the outbreak, and Erbacci said he will also meet with concessions operators and car rental companies.
LAWA has also frozen its hiring process and is looking at contracts that may have to be canceled.
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said the Harbor Department has canceled its public gatherings and programmatic events.
“Cargo moving through the port is about 85% of normal volume,” Seroka said “All marine terminals are open for business.”
Port officials said they are working with the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct screenings of crew members from incoming ships that are not from the U.S. Crews are not allowed off the ships during the COVID-19 outbreak if they are not U.S. citizens.
Crew members who are ill must notify a physician in order to leave the ship to get treatment.
Martin Adams, the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, said most people have been coming to work and they are trying to implement some telecommuting conferences.
“At the same time, we’ve stopped doing any water and power utility shut-offs … to make sure people have the (utilities) they need,” Adams said, adding that they’ve been seeing a lot of scams sent to people with misinformation.
He said DWP paid for advertising to combat that misinformation.
Adams said there are certain customers who pay exclusively in cash and DWP is trying to accommodate those customers as best as possible.
Officials with the Los Angeles Department of Aging said they are trying to deliver more meals to homes of elderly people so they don’t have to venture to senior centers to pick them up. People older than 65 have been recognized as particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, according to the CDC.
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