L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Warns Los Angeles Is "On the Brink" of Another Stay-at-Home Order

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Speaking on CNN Sunday, Garcetti addressed the rapid reopening of California, which resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations: "I do agree that those things happened too quickly," he said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that Los Angeles County is "on the brink" of enduring another stay-at-home order as novel coronavirus cases continue to rise. 

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Garcetti addressed the rapid reopening of California, which appears to have resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. "Mayors often have no control over what opens up and doesn’t. That's either at a state or county level. I do agree that those things happened too quickly," he said. 

However, Garcetti noted that the increase in spread is not solely due to reopenings, but rather people failing to follow public health guidance and continuing to gather with others outside their household. 

"It's not just about what's open and closed," Garcetti said, "It's also about what we do individually." "It's about the people that are getting together with people outside their household, with people they might know. It might be their extended family. It might be friends. They might think because they got a test two weeks ago that it's OK. But it's not," he said. He also warned that the virus "preys on our division" and "when we get exhausted" by the ongoing restrictions necessary to mitigate its spread. 

As of July, L.A. has over 150,000 confirmed cases. Garcetti says that in order to move forward, residents have to "be patient" when places reopen, and a "domino effect" of opening things too quickly once numbers improve must be avoided. Garcetti described that plan of action as a "failed way to go forward" and emphasized that it would take up to three weeks to assess whether closures have helped prevent the virus from spreading. 

"I think we have to be surgical [with renewed closures] rather than a cleaver that would just shut everything down," Garcetti said. 

Though cases are currently surging, Garcetti assured that L.A. still has "a lot of room" in hospitals, an ample supply of ventilators and continues to have "aggressive testing." Despite Garcetti warning that L.A. was "on the brink" of possible new restrictions, he did not elaborate further. 

The mayor expressed his hopes for more leadership from President Donald Trump as the country continues to grapple with the virus. "We need national leadership. This is the last chance for this president to prove that he cares about the people of this country and to step up and do something," he said. 

Garcetti's comments came shortly after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a statewide order requiring indoor operations such as movie theaters to close, effective immediately.

"We're seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that's why it's incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon until there is a vaccine or an effective therapy," Newsom said during a press conference on July 13. 

California had recently begun reopening the economy, with most counties allowing people to shop, dine in at restaurants, work out in gyms, visit hair salons and attend church services, among other things. But concern has grown as coronavirus cases continue to increase.