Mayor of L.A. Issues Emergency COVID-19 Order to City: "It's Time to Cancel Everything"

Mayor Eric Garcetti's warning came late Wednesday night amid a spike in virus cases.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an emergency authority order to city residents Wednesday evening, directing the community to "cancel everything" amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The new order comes after Los Angeles County reported a total of 5,987 novel coronavirus cases Wednesday, one day after a record high of 7,593 cases. Currently, 2,439 people are hospitalized with the virus in the county, with 40 additional deaths reported Wednesday.

"My message couldn't be simpler. It's time to hunker down. It's time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it," the mayor said in a short video message posted on his official Twitter account.

"Don't meet up with others outside your household. Don't host a gathering. Don't attend a gathering. And following our targeted 'Safer at Home' order, if you're able to stay home, stay home," he added.

The order, which supersedes the previous Safer L.A. direction and was sent as a text alert to residents Wednesday evening, states that contact with others must be minimized as much as possible and L.A. residents must remain inside their homes. All public and private gatherings of any number of people are prohibited, along with all travel, subject to exemptions.

People are only allowed to leave their homes to engage in essential activities as defined by the order. All travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile or public transit is prohibited, subject to an extremely broad range of 26 exemptions listed in the order.

Among the exemptions are retailers, hotels, childcare facilities, care homes and restaurants that have already put in place the County of Los Angeles' health protocols, places of outdoor worship, gas stations, banks, grocery stores and health care facilities.

The order also states that a list of businesses and permitted activities must close for operations between the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. This list includes city parks and trails, day camps, golf courses, beaches and piers, outdoor and indoor pools, music and video production, gyms, and personal care businesses like salons. The full list is contained in the order.

Though the exemptions are broad, county health officials are aiming to reduce or eliminate gatherings that involve different households meeting in close proximity.

According to the document, failure to comply with the directives "shall constitute a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment" and the mayor urged the Los Angeles Police Department and the city attorney to "vigorously enforce" the order. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power can also shut off utility service for violations.