L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Issues "Safer at Home" Order for Residents

Eric Garcetti  - Getty - H 2020
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles residents are ordered to stay inside their homes and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is taking further action in combatting the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

During a press conference on Thursday, Garcetti announced he has issued a "Safer at Home" Emergency Order, which demands all L.A. residents to stay inside their homes and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. "Safer at Home" is described as a "more rigorous form of social distancing." 

"Los Angeles, this our moment to lead with love and protect those lives that mean everything to us," Garcetti said. "This is not a request, this is an order." 

According to guidelines listed about the order on the city website, residents are allowed to do activities such as go to the grocery store, pick up medications or other healthcare necessities at the pharmacy, take pets to veterinarian if necessary, attend medical appointments, take a walk, ride bikes outside and be in nature for exercise.

If needing to leave their homes, residents must stay at least six feet away from others.

Meanwhile, residents are not allowed to go to work unless providing essential services as defined by this order, visit friends and family if there is no urgent need, travel to or from a job outside the city, travel to or from a vacation home outside the city or visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility. 

The order goes into effect immediately after midnight on Thursday until April 19. The duration can be either shortened or extended by the mayor, the website states.

"Today’s order is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community," the city website states. "Based on what we can predict, now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks. Every hour counts. We need and appreciate the cooperation of everyone who lives and works in the City of Los Angeles to act immediately."

"If everyone works together, we should be able to adjust to the new rules over the next few weeks. We know that there will be a lot of questions and concerns at the beginning of this new regimen, and we ask everyone to bear in mind that this is a major change being taken to protect public health. Please be patient and kind to one another. Together, we will get through this, and our community’s health will be protected."

According to the city website, the order can and will likely be updated as conditions warrant.

Following the announcement, an influx of online traffic crashed the website. "The #LACounty website is experiencing difficulties due to high traffic, but here is the text of the County order," it was tweeted. 

Los Angeles Undersheriff Tim Murakami took to Twitter following the announcement, stating, "Sheriff Villanueva wants all to know we don’t plan on making arrests. We will seek compliance with the goal of stopping the spread of the virus. We all need to work together to beat the Coronavirus."

The news of the order comes the same day that the L.A. County Department of Public Health reported 40 new coronavirus cases and one death, marking the second life lost in the county amid the growing pandemic. The total number of cases now stands at 230.

More information regarding the "Safer at Home" Emergency Order can be found here.