In his 83rd and final COVID-19 briefing of 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged Angelenos Wednesday evening to stay home on New Year’s Eve to prevent a further surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, and he warned that police will be enforcing a ban on large gatherings.
According to the mayor, in anticipation of the holiday, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer asked Eventbrite to remove invitations to New Year’s Eve parties from its website. And Garcetti said the Los Angeles Police Department “will have a significant deployment” to find and stop large gatherings and parties.
“Nobody should be gathering at a big party, and nobody should be gathering in a small party, as well. These are the ways that this virus will spread to your loved ones,” he said. “Some who won’t be taken from us will spread to others and those people will be taken from us. It’s all it takes to set off a dangerous and often deadly chain of events.”
Garcetti also urged conservative evangelical Christian singer Sean Feucht to cancel his planned series of New Year concerts for unsheltered people in Los Angeles.
“There are constitutionally protected rights, both religion and protest, which clearly he has used and exercised, but just because we do have the right to do things, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. So I would encourage him first and foremost to come back, have a good concert after this pandemic is done,” Garcetti said.
“We do not want to see this spread, and the more spread there is, the more hospitalizations, the more deaths, so if you care about human lives, and what God has given each of us, which is the power of life, please don’t do this.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as well as city officials, will be at the those gatherings and will enforce any public health directive violations, Garcetti said. The LAPD will also be there to ensure people wear masks and that there isn’t any physical violence.
Garcetti warned that if people continue to gather, on New Year’s Eve or any day, Los Angeles’ hospitals will be overrun and medical care will not be available to everyone who needs it.
“Remember, not everybody comes to a hospital because of COVID-19. Something may happen to you or a loved one, God forbid, a car accident, a heart condition, something in which they need emergency service and there’s hours long-waits, as we’re already seeing in some of our hospitals,” Garcetti said.
“We need everybody to keep wearing that mask, keep your distance, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and avoid any gatherings on New Year’s Eve, or otherwise,” he said.