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The “Safer at Home” order prohibits public gatherings outside of the home.
All non-essential businesses are ordered to shut down, with exceptions for health care providers, news outlets, gas stations, grocery stores, and hardware stores.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the move is necessary to prevent the same fate as Italy.
There are now at least 231 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, with two deaths.
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Calling it an act of “love,” but nonetheless “an order, not a request,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that residents of the United States’ second-largest city should stay in their homes in order to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We’ve already radically changed how we live in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said at a news conference, flanked by Los Angeles County officials and other mayors. “We’re about to enter a new way of living here in Los Angeles, for a period.”
The order, effective at midnight, prohibits all gatherings outside the home and requires the area’s 10.4 million residents to stop going to work and stay in their homes, with exceptions for essential businesses, such as grocery stores and gas stations. Residents may still get food delivered, go on walks, and make trips necessary for their own health care and the health care of friends and families.
Garcetti insisted the order not be seen as a “lockdown,” noting “we do live in a free society.” But, he added, “with freedom comes responsibility.”
“The only time you should leave your home is for essential needs and activities,” the mayor declared.
The alternative, he said, was terrifying.
“The data is crystal clear. We’re at a point where the increase and the rate of increase, at least of the tests we’re getting back — and we all know there’s not enough tests, this whole nation and all of us were woefully unprepared for this moment — it’s the same rate we see in a place like Italy,” Garcetti said. “We’re trying to intervene earlier. We’re trying to be one of those countries where the curve flattens.”
The order comes on the heels of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirming the second death in the area from COVID-19: “an individual in their 30s with underlying health conditions.” The department confirmed 40 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 231 across the county.
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