With parks and public golf courses opening Saturday in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday he hopes people will continue to follow guidelines on social distancing and wear face coverings to protect themselves against the coronavirus.
Garcetti said Recreation and Parks Department staff will be present at the parks and trails this Mother’s Day weekend to make sure people are not overcrowding the facilities.
“And if necessary, we can enforce, and that can be cutting off the admissions or telling people `You cannot do this,”’ Garcetti said during his daily coronavirus briefing.
“But I hope that this weekend will be a good experiment. I’m encouraging not everybody to hit the parks together. If you’re somebody who doesn’t work during the weeks right now … think about going during the week instead of this weekend.”
Runyon Canyon Park will remain closed, as it is an extremely popular gathering place that saw herds of people visit it before the pandemic, and Griffith Park Observatory will also stay closed, even though the park’s hiking trails will be open.
The city’s beaches will also be closed.
“Everybody, please don’t go out on Sunday for Mother’s Day,” Garcetti said.
“You shouldn’t be going out with your mother if they’re over 65 anyway, unless you’ve been living together, but they shouldn’t go out and expose themselves to that sort of danger, so use your judgment.”
As May 15 was supposed to be the end of the Safer at Home orders, Garcetti said certain businesses will still not be able to reopen. He said the budget proposal he put forth last month anticipates lagging revenues over the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Businesses like small retailers were allowed to reopen Friday, including bookstores, clothing stores and bicycle shops, but only for curbside pickup.
“We never relied on all revenues coming back on May 15. We always projected it would be a slow recovery,” Garcetti said. “We’re taking very conservative estimates, which most economists are saying there’s no way (the economy) is going to be right back.
“But I will say, as I did when I put the budget out, it is the most dynamic budget I’ve ever been a part of.”
Garcetti said he is supportive of another federal coronavirus stimulus bill, one that would support cities and states that have been tapping into reserves in response to the pandemic.
A series of working groups has been meeting for the last two weeks, which are comprised of experts from industries such as manufacturing, retail, film and television production, higher education and cultural institutions to discuss how to safely resume their businesses, Garcetti said.
Each of the groups is assembling a “toolkit,” Garcetti said, with health and economic metrics to monitor progress of slowing the virus as well as providing specific advice on how to gradually expand services and to protect customers and staff by operating “well under limited capacity.”
Garcetti also announced the prepaid Angeleno Cards financed by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles nonprofit organization received $1 million in donations recently — $500,000 from Steve Tisch, a movie producer and chairman of the New York Giants who lives in the Los Angeles area, and another $500,000 from the siblings constituting the pop rock band the Jonas Brothers.
The cards are for people who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have $700, $1,100 or $1,500 on them, depending on the size of the household that applied for them.
The application period was open for three days in April and were restricted to Los Angeles residents.
The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles has had enough funding to provide 60,000 households with the prepaid debit cards.
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