LOS ANGELES - Mirroring an action previously announced by Los Angeles County, Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday all Los Angeles city parks will be closed Saturday evening into Monday to prevent people from gathering on Easter.
Garcetti said park rangers and Los Angeles Police Department officers will be at the parks to ensure the orders are followed as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"I know that your heart breaks like so many of the things that we have had to do," Garcetti said.
"This is such a fun moment for our kids. "This is such a great tradition that many families have, but we can afford to have one cluster of just even a few people together spread this disease to more people and kill them."
Garcetti said the residents of the city are doing very well in trying to flatten the curve and weather the virus, but it's not time to backpedal.
The Jewish holiday Passover began at sundown Wednesday and ends at sundown April 16. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins April 23.
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"Passover reminds us, (as do) many of our religious holidays, to not live in fear, to know that in the stories of humanity we have had dark moments... when we didn't know when the light would come," Garcetti said.
More resources for homeless people are coming to help them prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Garcetti said, including daily maintenance of hand-washing stations and other sanitation centers. Federal Judge David O. Carter visited Skid Row on Tuesday and found a few of them were empty.
Through the county's Project Roomkey and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, more than 1,000 beds at hotels and motels are being made available to the most vulnerable homeless people, those who are elderly or have underlying health issues, Garcetti said.
Garcetti said he has appointed John Vein, the president of the Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development Board of Commissioners, to be the ambassador between the city and hotel and motel owners in order to find more rooms.
Hotels and motel operators can visit coronavirus.lacity.org/rooms if they want to make a deal with the city, Garcetti said.
Although the city has been able to provide about $11 million in microloans, Garcetti said Los Angeles has had more than four times the requests for loans than it can handle, and he said he's been speaking with mayors across California to urge the federal government to get a second stimulus package passed to assist small businesses.
Garcetti urged banks to work with the businesses through a new mechanism called the LA Cares Corps, a partnership between city and county to provide small businesses with information on how to apply for the loans.
The website for the corps is at coronavirus.lacity.org/carecorps and it can be reached at 833-238-4450.
Nonprofits and other organizations not eligible for federal assistance may be able to receive help, Garcetti said.
Another 649 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Los Angeles County Wednesday, raising the total to 7,559. There were 230 new cases among Los Angeles residents confirmed Wednesday, increasing the total to 3,360, Garcetti said.