On Tuesday, in his second appearance on CNN in 4 hours, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that online, phone order and curbside pickup would expand to “all retail establishments” sometime this week.
“In the coming week,” he said, “it’ll be opened up to all retail establishments.”
On May 6, officials announced that select retail sectors would be allowed to offer online/phone orders and curbside pick-up. Those select businesses included florists (before Mother’s Day), toy stores, music stores, bookstores, clothing and shoe stores and sporting goods stores. Car dealership showrooms were also allowed to open with proper social distancing.
This comes after a day of conflicting signals from elected officials.
First, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that restaurants could reopen for dine-in service, so long as they follow guidelines.
Newsom also said that malls and strip malls could reopen for pickup service.
Then, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Director of the L.A. County Public Health Department said safer at home restrictions would go on until August.
Shortly thereafter, Garcetti called in to CNN, telling Jake Tapper, “I think there was a lot of panic suddenly the headlines said we’re all going to stay exactly as we are for three more months when that is not the case.” Garcetti insisted that Ferrer simply meant that the county would not “fully reopen” by August.
Later in the afternoon, Ferrer issued a press release clarifying her remarks. “While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months,” she said, “restrictions will be gradually relaxed.”
Finally, Garcetti made a second appearance on CNN, telling Anderson Cooper that, despite the seemingly conflicting messages, “It’s important not to overreact…to not freak out.”
It was in that interview that Garcetti made the announcement about all retail establishments.
“Workspaces, maybe manufacturing comes next,” he said.
The mayor’s announcement landed nearly simultaneously with the announcement by L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer that his office has filed criminal charges against 60 businesses that failed to close under the mayor’s Safer at Home order.
The full list of those businesses can be found here.
At the end of the CNN interview, Cooper asked Garcetti if students in the massive L.A. Unified School District would return to campus soon.
Garcetti said, “I certainly hope so. It’d be a pity [not to]. It’s all about compliance.”
Then, “In the fall,” said the mayor, at “the K-12 level, we should figure out some way.”
The mayor, however, has little control over LAUSD. The district is governed by a Board of Education elected directly by voters.
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