L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Says ‘It’s Time to Hunker Down’ Amid Surging COVID-19 Cases

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered a COVID-19 response update on Wednesday evening, telling residents that “it’s time to hunker down” as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the county. “Cancel everything,” he advised in his first public address in a week.

Garcetti delivered dire statistics, saying that in the last month, L.A. County’s daily COVID-19 infections have tripled. He said there are currently just 86 ICU beds available in Los Angeles County.

“Our hospitalizations have more than tripled and are at a new peak. And, our deaths have nearly doubled, and they continue to rise,” Garcetti said. “These numbers don’t reflect last week’s record breaking numbers, they don’t reflect yet the ‘Thanksgiving effect’ of time spent with families, when many people were gathering and traveling in defiance of public health warnings.”

He also noted that California has one of the fewest hospital beds per capita in comparison to other states, meaning that if cases continue to rise, hospital space will soon run out.

“If cases continue on this pathway… the county expects that we will run out of hospital beds here in Los Angeles by Christmastime,” Garcetti said, adding that the condition of L.A. is “as dire as it was in March in the earliest days of this pandemic.”

In order to stop the spread, Garcetti encouraged L.A. residents to follow the stay-at-home order that took effect on Monday.

“My message couldn’t be simpler: It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything, and if it isn’t essential, don’t do it,” Garcetti said. “Don’t meet up with others outside your household, don’t host a gathering, don’t attend a gathering. And following our targeted safer-at-home order, if you’re able to stay home, stay home.”

Watch the full update below.

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