Mayor Garcetti issues new orders to help protect the public, slow spread of novel coronavirus

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today ordered City departments and agencies to take additional steps that can help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), strengthening the local response to the outbreak with measures that include new limits on public gatherings in City facilities.

“I know this is an anxious time for a lot of people, but Angelenos should stay focused on preparation and protection — not panic,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We will continue doing everything we can to help guide people through this situation, and working closely with our local, state, and federal partners to keep our communities safe, aware, and informed.”

The Mayor’s directive to City Departments includes the following measures:

  • Temporary closure of the Los Angeles City Hall complex to members of the public, except for public meetings of the City Council;
  • Transitioning board and commission meetings to accessible phone or video conference sessions that will allow constituents to make comments, ask questions, and engage with local leaders;
  • Postponement or cancellation of all non-essential public community events or group activities with 50 or more participants, or that require close contact between vulnerable individuals; 
  • A ban on all events or conferences on City-owned properties that are anticipated to attract more than 50 people;
  • Development of plans to stagger entry for visitors in public buildings to no more than 50 at a time — including City museums, libraries, parks, pools, and community centers. Transit locations and similar facilities, including LAX and the Port of Los Angeles, as well as all City shelters, are exempt from this requirement at this time;
  • Ensuring that hand-washing and sanitizing stations are available in City-owned public buildings, and that extra steps are taken to clean facilities regularly and thoroughly;
  • Stopping all non-essential travel by City employees to all destinations, domestic or foreign;
  • Ordering all General Managers to develop an Emergency COVID-19 Telecommuting Plan, which may be implemented in the event that it becomes unsafe for staff to safely travel to or work from their normal work location.

The Mayor’s order follows new statewide guidelines issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday night, which details new California Department of Public Health policy that includes guidance to cancel or postpone all gatherings of 250 people or more, along with additional direction on protecting public health and slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Mayor Garcetti had previously signed a local emergency declaration, a precautionary measure to formalize coordination with public health agencies, smooth the way for quicker acquisition of supplies, and ease access to state and federal funds should they become necessary in the response to COVID-19.