Los Angeles County now has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than “all of Canada,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a Monday press conference about the virus. He also emphasized that if LA County was an “independent country” it would “have the 20th most cases in the world.”
When Garcetti made the statement on Monday, the county’s public health department was reporting over 136,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county. There were more than 2,500 new cases reported on Monday and 13 deaths, according to the county’s data at that time.
In Canada, there have been 110,234 confirmed cases of the disease, resulting in 8,843 deaths as of Tuesday, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University.
“We have never had as many people infected or infectious. We have never had as many recorded positive cases each day. And we’ve never had as many people in the hospital as there are tonight as I speak to you in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said. He said the area has to “return to the point where we are back in control of COVID-19.”
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Earlier this month, Garcetti unveiled a new indicator showing the current threat level of the coronavirus in Los Angeles using colors ranging from green to red, CBS Los Angeles reported. He said Monday the threat level will remain at orange, but it is “on the border of going to red” — the highest threat level.
“When the indicator is orange, you want to stay at home as often as possible, as you can, and only leave for essential activities like going to work or going to the market, and you should assume everyone around you is infectious,” Garcetti said when the indicator was first announced, reported CBS Los Angeles at the time.
During the Monday press conference, Garcetti urged the city to continue to take precautions against the spread of the coronavirus, like maintaining social distancing and washing hands, telling people we, “aren’t in a place where we can let up.”
“We saw the impact, the success of doing that in the past and we need to continue to see it right now. Why? Because lives are at stake,” Garcetti said. “We’ve already lost too many. We know each day we lose more. And we want to do everything we can to make that number as small as possible.”
He backed Governor Gavin Newsom’s order Monday to close indoor businesses across the state, including restaurants, bars, wineries, movie theaters, zoos and museums. Newsom imposed stringent restrictions in 30 counties, including Los Angeles, shuttering indoor operations at gyms, places of worship, non-critical offices, personal care services, hair salons, barbershops and malls.
Garcetti also said he supports the decision for Los Angeles public schools to offer classes online only when the fall semester begins next month, due to the surge in cases.
California is just one of dozens of states that have recently experienced spikes of the virus, including Florida, Arizona and Texas. The U.S. continues to be the world epicenter of the disease, with 3,397,069 total confirmed cases as of Tuesday, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University.
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