At Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s daily coronavirus briefing Tuesday, L.A. City Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas provided an update on his department’s COVID-related efforts. He also offered praise for Sean Penn’s efforts to provide testing throughout the city.
“We’ve focused in four primary areas,” said the chief, the first of which is standing up coronavirus testing sites throughout the city. Terrazas said these sites were initially staffed by fire department personnel.
“But with the arrival of the CORE organization, led by actor Sean Penn, we’ve been able to transition to a volunteer model.”
Penn, in an interview with Deadline’s Mike Fleming last month, explained the strategy behind his efforts with CORE partner Ann Lee.
“It seemed very sensible for us to relieve highly skilled first responders, in our case the Los Angeles Fire Department, from having to man these sites,” said Penn. “We were able to take their training at the directing of Mayor Garcetti, and be able to pass the training on to our staff and volunteers. Which meant that each site we picked up, 20-25 firefighters were able to get back to their emergency response duties in the city of Los Angeles.”
Terrazas had nothing but praise for the operation today. “I must say that the volunteers from CORE have been doing an excellent job,” he said.
“We now have eight sites throughout the city” offering drive-up testing, the chief said.
Garcetti, for his part, announced that, with CORE’s assistance, the city has delivered nearly 400,000 COVID tests — 392,000, to be exact.
Increased testing, the mayor said, will allow the city to continue to reopen – if, that is, Angelenos also continue to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines.
In keeping with that, Garcetti announced that pet grooming businesses can reopen. Retail pet locations must “adopt the county’s guidelines,” he said. Ditto all carwashes, both automatic and hand-wash.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.