Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update | LA Mayor Garcetti Takes New Steps in Battling Outbreak

New Steps Taken to Fight Coronavirus by L.A. Mayor Garcetti signs new emergency orders, from stopping evictions to alcohol delivery. President Trump is targeting Easter for the country to open up its economy and to go back to work

PHOTO: KTLA 5 | Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

Large groups of at risk individuals and first responders will get first priority to testing for coronavirus, announced Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti during an update on COVID-19 Monday.

Garcetti announced a new online portal that allows individuals to register for coronavirus symptoms who are 65 and older and have underlying health issues.

The website, lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs, has the capacity to have 1,000 tests per day.

“So far our first day, we saw great progress,” Garcetti said at a media briefing. “The website is up and running, it didn’t crash. It’s functioning as planned and about 780 people, probably more by the time I’m speaking now, signed up and got tested today.

Priority is given to those showing symptoms of the virus, are 65 years old, individuals with underlying conditions, and people who have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of the virus.

Garcetti said about 1,000 people are currently being tested per day.

“We’ve tested more than 325 of our leaders on the front lines,” said the Los Angeles mayor. “First responders, critical city workers, health care professionals, those working with the homeless and others. And we’re going to keep expanding that testing capacity.”

On Monday, Garcetti signed additional emergency orders related to the coronavirus outbreak, including a temporary suspension of eviction allowing landlords to sell their properties and leave the rental market if desired.

“This step is necessary to keep tenants in their homes as we’re asking them to stay home, and if they cannot pay rent, you cannot be evicted,” said Garcetti during a media briefing, “The money you owe won’t disappear. You’ll have six months to pay it back. Everyone is struggling.”

Garcetti also signed an order that allows restaurants and bars to deliver alcoholic beverages in the City of Los Angeles. He also signed an order that will relax parking restriction for commercial vehicles in industrial zones.

The mayor continues to be critical of those avoiding social distancing, chastising those who continue to gather in large groups. “Stay home and save lives,” he stressed “That’s all of our top priority.”

In other news related to coronavirus, President Donald Trump said on Monday that he wants to reopen the country for business in weeks, not months.

Infections continued to rise in the United States, exceeding 46,000 cases and hovering around 600 deaths. Throughout the world more than 398,000 people have been infected and more than 17,450 have died from the virus that first emerged in central China late last year

Coronavirus cases in New York are accelerating and the state, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, could be two to three weeks away from a crisis that sees 40,000 people in intensive care.

On Tuesday, Cuomo criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency for sending the state only 400 ventilators when he said at least 30,000 are needed. “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators,” said the New York governor on Tuesday. He claims the rate of new infections is doubling about every three days, which is currently at 25,665 as of Tuesday, with the death toll at 183. He projects the state will need 140,000 hospital beds, up from and earlier projection of 110,000.

“We’re not looking at a freight train,” said Cuomo. “We’re looking at a bullet train, because the numbers are going up that quickly.”

Impacting athletes throughout the world, on Tuesday the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the Summer Olympics, ending weeks of speculation that the coronavirus pandemic would shut it down. It has been postponed until 2021.

On Tuesday, President Trump said he wants to open up the country to commerce as soon as he can, perhaps as early as Easter, April 12, about two and a half weeks away. “We have to go back to work,” he said during a town hall meeting on FOX News. “I would love to have the country opened up and rearing to go by Easter.