Medical Relief Center is up and running at the L.A. Convention Center
The Medical Relief Center in the South Hall of the L.A. Convention Center is prepared to start accepting patients as needed.
As of mid-April, L.A.’s hospitals have been able to manage patient volume –– a sign that Angelenos’ efforts to stay home and practice physical distancing are helping to slow the spread of the virus.
But in the event that we do see a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Medical Relief Center is ready to absorb patients from hospitals.
The Center is opening with an initial 175 beds for patients who are COVID-negative. If the need arises, we are ready to both expand the number of available beds, and shift to absorb patients who are COVID-positive in other areas of the Convention Center.
Partners in the Medical Relief Center include Cal OES and CAL FIRE, which helped secure a Federal Medical Station and are providing important services; the California National Guard, which helped deliver and set up the station; LAFD, which led the build out and logistics; SmithGroup architecture firm, which provided renderings of the space pro bono; and the County, which offered crucial guidance along the way.
Mayor Garcetti calls for creation of CARES Corps in op-ed for CNN
Mayor Garcetti is calling for the creation of CARES Corps, a federally-funded initiative that would strengthen America’s response to COVID-19 and help accelerate economic recovery from the crisis.
The Mayor — with co-authors Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Dr. Mark McClellan M.D., Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University — wrote an op-ed for CNN laying out the proposal in detail.
In the piece, the authors call for the CARES Corps to be built “on three core elements: equipping public health professionals with the tools to support and scale up a national testing system; addressing budget shortfalls in our cities so we can prevent dramatic reductions in vital services; and uniting government officials with local workers and businesses around actions on unemployment insurance, job training, and loan programs, so each solution matches the needs of every community.”
Mayor Garcetti has already stood up L.A. CARES Corps, a partnership between the City and County of Los Angeles to provide small businesses with assistance in applying for federal loans that can help them survive the COVID-19 crisis.
Mayor Garcetti announces launch of Emergency Senior Meals Response initiative
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Aging provided meals to 5,000 low-income seniors across the City -- often in dining halls at senior centers, which are now closed.
To help bridge the gap for seniors in need, Mayor Garcetti has launched the Emergency Senior Meals Response with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles.
Through a partnership with Everytable and Access Services, the Department of Aging and the Mayor’s Office will provide 10 meals a week to 7,280 new seniors. The City will also double the number of meals received by 5,000 seniors already enrolled in the Department of Aging’s meal delivery program.
To qualify for the program, you need to be 60 years or older, live in the City of Los Angeles, and not currently be enrolled in other meal programs (e.g., Meals on Wheels, CalFresh, etc.).
Seniors or their caregivers can sign up for the meal program by calling the Emergency Senior Meals Response Hotline at (213) 263-5226, Monday - Sunday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. You can also apply here.
L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs and L.A. Public Library offer arts and learning resources
The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) has developed a list of resources to provide opportunities for art instruction, art experiences, and creative pursuits during this period of social distancing. This list includes arts and educational resources for kids and teens, virtual art experiences, professional resources for artists, mental health resources, and contact information for crucial local, state, national, and international agencies. You can find the list here.
DCA, along with community partners, has also announced emergency relief grants that are available to performing artists and small ensembles in dance, music, and theater who cancelled shows or concerts due to the outbreak that were within the city of Los Angeles and open to the general public.
The first round of funding is only available if you apply by May 1st. You can learn more at culturela.org.
And, though L.A.’s 73 public libraries will be closed for the duration of the Safer at Home order, a wealth of digital services remains available 24/7 at lapl.org -- including e-books and audiobooks; streaming TV, movies, and music services; classes and digital subscriptions to newspapers and magazines.
The “Spring Into Reading Program” allows young readers to log their books and complete fun at-home activities. LAPL is also offering virtual storytimes with librarians.
Every L.A. Unified student has been assigned a Student Success Card and can access distance learning support online, along with tutoring assistance in math, science, English, social studies, and writing between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day.
City’s coronavirus website highlights data and and dispels common myths
Mayor Garcetti’s decision-making has always been guided by data and evidence. To keep Angelenos informed about the latest numbers on COVID-19, data and key metrics will be posted at coronavirus.lacity.org/data.
And, because there are plenty of myths swirling around –– like folks worried they’ll be arrested for going outside or confusion over what it means to be asymptomatic –– we’ve launched a webpage to dispel this disinformation at coronavirus.lacity.org/myths.
New Loyola Marymount University study finds 95% of Angelenos support the Safer at Home order
Researchers at Loyola Marymount University’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles recently surveyed L.A. County residents to learn how the pandemic has impacted them. Residents were asked about the government’s response, their understanding of the coronavirus and the measures to take to limit its spread, and the emotional and economic impact it has had on them.
Among key findings of the COVID-19 Public Opinion survey: An overwhelming majority of Angelenos (95%) support the Safer At Home order. And nearly half of Angelenos (48%) have been let go or had their hours reduced. Those most impacted are those who are younger or those who already had a lower household income.
Mayor Garcetti launches initiative to support hospital workers and their families
The L.A. Emergency Childcare Connection is an initiative to provide essential employees of participating hospitals with childcare options, which include:
- Stipend: $100 stipend per shift to help hospital employees pay for the type of child care that works best for them. Families are encouraged to use the stipend to help children stay at home or in the home of a trusted relative or neighbor. Participating hospitals must commit to making the full stipend available to all non-professional employees and prioritize low-wage workers.
- Childcare referrals: Free referrals to licensed providers in the community. That means access to three high-quality resources for finding childcare: Carina Care, a web-based matching program aligned with SEIU Local 99; WeeCare, the nation’s largest online private care matching agency; and enhanced referrals through L.A. County led by the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles member agencies.
- City Recreation Centers: Starting April 13th, the City’s Recreation and Parks Department will begin providing free care for kids between the ages of 6 and 14 at City recreation centers near participating hospitals to accommodate employees who are unable to have their child cared for at home. Each site will be open 7 days a week from 6 am to 8 pm, offer programming and meals, and adhere to public health guidelines. Interested parents must pre-register through their hospital’s human resources department.
The first hospitals to participate are White Memorial, California Medical Center, and Northridge Medical Center. In addition, the City is partnering with Glendale Memorial Hospital to support their staff with stipends and child care referrals. Hospital employees who wish to participate in the L.A. Emergency Child Care Connection should inquire with their human resources department.
The Mayor’s Office is working to grow the list of participating hospitals and medical centers.
The L.A. Emergency Childcare Connection is a partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles and the Department of Recreation and Parks.
The City’s Safer at Home order extended through May 15th
Together with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Mayor Garcetti is extending the City’s Safer at Home order through May 15th. Non-essential businesses and activities will remain closed, and physical distancing and face coverings for workers and customers will continue to be required.
Additionally, the City of Los Angeles is joining the County in requiring non-medical essential businesses that are open to the public to complete a social distancing protocol form for each of their facilities. This document will contain a checklist of social distancing, hygiene and public health requirements for each business.
The protocol form must be posted at or near the entrance to each business, and must be distributed to each employee, no later than 11:59 PM on April 15. Copies of the Protocol form are available for download here.
Mayor Garcetti launches effort to help small businesses apply for federal loans
L.A. CARES Corps is a partnership between the City and County to provide small businesses with the help they need to apply for federal loans.
Washington’s coronavirus relief bill includes $349 billion in Small Business Administration loans. The package establishes two types of loans:
- Economic Injury Disaster loans to help small businesses make up for temporary loss of revenue; and,
- the Paycheck Protection Program (or PPP), which helps businesses keep workers on payroll during this emergency.
The L.A. CARES Corps website has a clear explanation of the two emergency loan programs and a way to directly access loan applications. Business owners can also reach out to a call-in center at (833)-238-4450 for help from loan counselors trained in completing SBA applications.
Mayor Garcetti issues order requiring essential workers to wear face coverings
Under the Mayor’s emergency order, workers in many non-medical essential businesses will be required to wear cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths while at work.
Employers are required to provide those face coverings for their employees, or reimburse them for their cost. This includes workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, taxi and rideshare businesses, and more.
Customers at these businesses will also need to cover their faces with a face covering, like a bandana, a scarf, or something made with fabric. You can find instructions online for making a cloth face covering or go to LAprotects.org to purchase one.
Essential businesses must also implement physical distancing measures for employees, customers, and visitors; make sure employees have access to a clean and sanitary restroom, stocked with all necessary cleansing products like soap and sanitizer; and allow employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes. Non-medical essential businesses described in the order will be allowed to refuse service to customers who do not wear face coverings. The order also recommends that, whenever possible, businesses install plexiglass barriers between cashiers and customers.
Mayor Garcetti announces expansion of City’s free COVID-19 testing program
The City is expanding its free COVID-19 testing, which has been operated largely by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The program has grown from a single site two weeks ago to 13 sites across the region, thanks to partnerships with Los Angeles County and the nonprofit emergency response organization Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE). More than 21,000 tests have been completed since March 20.
Now any L.A. County resident with symptoms can schedule a test, but priority will still be given to symptomatic people with underlying health conditions and residents age 65 and over. Health care professionals and first responders also receive priority, and should inquire at their affiliated hospital, medical center or department for information about how to register for testing.
To find out if you’re eligible and to schedule a test, visit the online portal.
New online nonprofit directory connects Angelenos to service opportunities
In partnership with the platform “Inspiring Service,” the Mayor’s office has launched a new online nonprofit directory where organizations in need of volunteers can connect with people who are ready to help.
Nonprofits working to provide services during this pandemic that are in need of volunteers can join the directory.
And Angelenos who are looking for a way to put their particular skill sets to work can search the website for an appropriate organization.
To get involved, visit volunteer.lamayor.org and click on the button that says “Nonprofit Directory.”