Los Angeles residents were startled at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening by Amber Alert-style messages on their cell phones warning about COVID-19 in the city.
The alerts had different messages.
One warned of the spread of COVID-19 saying, “cases are increasing. Please wear a mask and social distance.”
Another variation encouraged recipients to “Get a free test & results in 1 day.”
Angelenos took to Twitter to express shock.
“Did anyone in Los Angeles get a jolt from the Emergency Alert about Coronavirus in their phone just now?” one user wrote. Another called the alert “jarring.”
Did anyone in Los Angeles get a jolt from the Emergency 🚨 Alert about Coronavirus in their phone 📱just now? Talk about sobering and scary AF. 😨 pic.twitter.com/7qGszn7H8Q
— Miss Bossy Boots is wearing a mask 😷 (@MissBossyBoots_) November 11, 2020
The amber-alert style COVID alert was jarring. Please, everyone, do your best. #LosAngeles
— Kristie Holmes (@DrKristie) November 11, 2020
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti explained the alert during his press conference earlier in the evening.
“This week,” said the mayor, “L.A. residents will receive a wireless emergency text. It’s a reminder that if you do have symptoms or know somebody [who does] please make sure you get tested.”
The alert literally landed less than an hour later.
Garcetti also announced an expansion of the city’s testing capacity from about 20,000 tests available daily to over 30,000 as daily new cases, test positivity rate, hospitalizations and COVID-related ICU stays all rose drastically.
We are continuing to ramp up our COVID-19 testing to meet increased demand. We now have capacity to test more than 32,400 people per day at City sites, and we're extending hours at Dodger Stadium to 8 am-8 pm.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) November 11, 2020
According to the mayor, the county recorded 2,318 more infections on Tuesday. That’s up from 1,406 last Monday, a 900 case increase in just over a week.
Last week, County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, “If we ever see ourselves over 2,000 cases a day, that will translate in two weeks to more deaths.” She likely had no idea that jump would happen so soon.
COVID-19 Daily Update:
November 10, 2020
New Cases: 2,318 (325,876 to date)
New Deaths: 25 (7,200 to date)
Current Hospitalizations: 888 pic.twitter.com/TEVvTp7Wbh
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) November 10, 2020
California Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly announced on Tuesday that, as the pandemic worsens again, nearly a dozen counties are being required to move back to more restrictive measures.
A total of 11 counties, including one of the state’s most populous, fell back in the governor’s tiering structure. Sacramento, Stanislaus and San Diego retreated to the most restrictive Purple tier.
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