On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he was shutting down dine-in service in local restaurants, as well as indoor operations at movie theaters, indoor family entertainment businesses, card rooms and zoos.
Over the weekend, Newsom ordered bars and nightclubs closed. On Monday, he also announced a “strike team” of state enforcement agencies that would fan out and ensure compliance.
In his early evening news conference, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wanted to leave no doubt about his support for the measures saying, “Let me make this crystal clear to any business not complying with the rules: You need to comply with all regulations.”
Garcetti said state and local enforcement agencies would be surveying businesses. “We’ll look at you and, if necessary, close you down,” he said. “I’m not asking you to wear masks, I’m telling you.”
Garcetti said a number of factories in downtown L.A. had seen outbreaks. As a result, the mayor announced the city would be sending mobile clinics to factories in south L.A. to test workers to keep others from being infected. “We know that the 6 feet rule is being broken,” he said.
And to those factory owners Garcetti said, “We will not hesitate to shut you down, but we don’t want to shut you down.”
As far as small gatherings and parties over the Fourth of July weekend, the mayor reenforced pleas from Newsom and L.A. County health officials that people not mix with individuals from outside their household.
Garcetti said people violating the mask rule would not be ticketed, “I don’t want to turn Los Angeles into a police state,” he said. “But where we do see somebody blatantly defying the mask order or trying to infect someone, we have seen law enforcement engagement.”
He said he preferred to help people and encourage them, noting that the city had seen 95 percent compliance with a recent program on the Metro.
That said, in the long term Garcetti indicted he is worried about capacity issues with ventilators, hospital beds and ICU beds if the current trend lines do not slacken.
Earlier, Newsom also said he is hoping that people will comply with the guidelines voluntarily.
If they do not, the governor said he is deploying a “strike team” of government agencies to ensure compliance, especially where it concerns workplaces. Alcoholic Beverage Control, CalOSHA, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Highway Patrol are among the agencies that will be enforcing the guidelines.
“We will have these agencies use their regulatory authority in six regions of the state,” a state official said at the press conference, “This will begin today.”
“We have a duty,” the governor said, to “go after” those who are not complying.