LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday announced further public area closures -- including the Venice Beach Boardwalk -- as part of the social distancing measures being taken to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
In a live-streamed remote news conference, Garcetti said that in consultation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the city is also closing beach parking lots and all organized group sports, saying that the six-feet rule is in place to save lives.
He reminded people to keep practicing social distancing, to stand at least six feet away from others. It's a technique, he said, that will not only keep you safe but it will protect your love ones and others as well. He also told people not to take risks with their health.
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"Don't mess around," he said. "This is too important." Garcetti also said the city will launch a portal to be rolled out in the next couple of days designed to test the most vulnerable Angelenos -- 65 and over with underlying health conditions, who are showing coronavirus symptoms. These residents will be prioritized to be tested and will need to be able to prove identification to get those tests.
The city, he said, has ordered masks for medical personnel and the city's first responders.
He also thanked President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for ordering hospital ship, Mercy, to the Port of Los Angeles. Its home port is normally San Diego, he said. The ship will provide an extra 1,000 beds to house COVID-19 victims for treatment.
He also said the city is moving the homeless into rec centers and hopes to have 42 centers open for housing the homeless. He said the city is facing a shortage of medical personnel to staff the centers, which, is critical housing them safely.
He announced that the city is setting up a fund to provide childcare for health workers, assistance for the needy and meals for seniors. The goal, he said, is to raise $25 million as soon as possible for the fund.