LOS ANGELES - “It is no less dangerous today than when it first came here,” stated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti during a press briefing focusing on the rise of COVID-19 cases.
The mayor is urging all Angelenos to continue to wear masks and physically distance themselves from others as the number of confirmed cases continue to rise in Southern California and throughout the nation.
The number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Los Angeles County reached its highest point in months, nearing peak highs of about 1,900.
The mayor and local health officials are encouraging people to avoid gatherings of any sort this holiday weekend.
“For everything we do today, we won’t see the benefits for two to three weeks, that’s how this virus works,” the mayor mentioned.
“I want to remind you, you still can’t gather in groups. Whether you think you can get together to celebrate something like a birthday with folks who are not in your household, even if you know them or are related to them; that is still prohibited. Gatherings and getting together with anyone, except those who you live with, will spread the virus,” Garcetti added.
As of July 1st, the county has reported a total of 105,507 cases and a total of 3,402 deaths. According to the mayor, more than a million people in the county have been tested.
During Wednesday’s press briefing Mayor Garcetti said a new color-coded system is being used to show the COVID-19 threat level on a daily basis.
Today was labeled as “orange,'' indicating an “extremely high risk.''
The new tool breaks down the risk into four categories: red, orange, yellow, and green. The tool is available to see on the city’s coronavirus website.
The mayor says ‘Red’ means residents should stay home, ‘Orange’ indicates that the threat of COVID-19 in Los Angeles is ‘extremely high’ and residents should take precautions and assume everyone around them is infectious.
‘Yellow’ means the city is successfully flattening the curve and ‘Green’ means COVID-19 is mostly contained and presents a low risk in LA.
As bars, restaurants, theaters, and several other businesses set to close again, Garcetti reiterated the policy to businesses allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “If there's no mask, there should be no service.''
The mayor also stated that starting Wednesday night, the city will dispatch volunteer disaster service workers to check on businesses to make sure they're following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
City News Service contributed to this report