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California

Garcetti authorizes shutting off utilities to nonessential businesses violating Safer at Home

Eric Garcetti
Mayor Eric Garcetti
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that he’s authorized the Department of Water and Power to shut off service to nonessential businesses that continue to operate despite the strict Safer at Home restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s the latest move in an effort to impose social distancing as coronavirus cases and deaths surge across Los Angeles County and California.

Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County rose dramatically Wednesday as officials reported more than 500 new cases, bringing the total number of people infected by the virus in the region to 3,518.

These are some of the unusual new scenes across the Southland during the coronavirus outbreak.
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In their daily briefing, county officials also reported 11 new deaths, bringing the toll to 65. Nine of the 11 people who most recently died were over the age of 65, and seven had underlying health conditions. One person was between 18 and 40 years old, and another was between 41 and 65, said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Over the last week, officials have repeatedly threatened to crack down on nonessential businesses that violate the order to close. City Atty. Mike Feuer said he has assigned prosecutors to the task.

“In the strongest possible terms, I urge that Angelenos adhere to the Safer at Home order, and nonessential businesses shut their doors,” Feuer said in a statement last week. “Those crucial steps protect all of us.”

Most beaches, trails, recreation areas and other points of interest are closed, including trails in Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles.

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Under the Safer at Home order, all nonessential businesses are supposed to close.

What stays open:

  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Essential state and local government functions including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services

What is closed:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention centers
  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Many parks, beaches, trials, recreation areas

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