The Lynwood City Council says it has voted in a special session to declare an emergency to protect Lynwood residents and those who work in the City during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.

The declaration went into effect Monday and will be in effect until Friday, May 15 at noon, according to a statement.

The council’s decisions largely mirror decisions being taken by municipalities around the state.

The Lynwood City Council has issued te following orders:

— All bars and nightclubs in Lynwood that do not serve food shall be closed to the public;

— Any bars or nightclubs in Lynwood that serve food may remain open only for purposes of continuing to prepare and offer food to customers via take-out or delivery service. Dine-in food service is prohibited;

— All restaurants and retail food facilities in Lynwood shall reduce their occupancy by half and should push for take-out service only. Restaurants and retail food facilities may continue to operate for purposes of preparing and offering food to customers with the restrictions noted. For establishments offering food pick-up options, proprietors are directed to establish social distancing practices for those patrons in the queue for pick-up.

The following are exempt from the order:

— Cafeterias, commissaries, and restaurants located within hospitals, nursing homes, or similar facilities;

— Grocery stores;

— Pharmacies;

— Food banks;

— Trucks and other vehicles engaged in the delivery of grocery items to grocery stores, when such items are to be made available for sale to the public, are hereby exempt from having to comply with any city rules and regulations that limit the hours for such deliveries.

Additionally, the city council resolved that:

— All movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades shall be closed to the public;

— All gyms and fitness centers shall be closed to the public;

— All water and sewer utility bills will not incur late fees or penalties for a period of 60 days from the due date;

— There will be no water service interruptions for nonpayment during the term of this order.

— Grocery stores and pharmacies are required to restrict patronage for the first 30 minutes of operations on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays to elderly patrons and

special needs families.

“Any violation of the above prohibitions may be referred to the Office of the City Attorney for prosecution,” according to a statement.

“Finally, the City Council also ordered that no landlord shall evict a commercial or a residential tenant in the City of Lynwood during this local emergency period if the tenant is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said. “These circumstances include loss of income due to a COVID-19-related workplace closure, child care expenditures due to school closures, health care expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a member of the tenant’s household who is ill with COVID-19, or reasonable expenditures that stem from government-ordered emergency measures. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to mean that the tenant will not still be obligated to pay lawfully charged rent.”

The statement reported that the Council also issued guidance to leaders of the city’s faith-based organizations to limit gatherings on their premises and to explore and implement ways to practices their faiths while observing social distancing practices.

The city says the newly published order may be extended prior to the May 15, 2020 deadline.

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