L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti: We See in Traffic and Phone Data 99% of People Staying Home

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti: We See in Traffic and Phone Data 99% of People Staying Home


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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An analysis of traffic patterns and mobile phone data use indicates that 99 percent of residents are staying home as requested to help slow the spread of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a “shelter in place” order for the state March 19 telling residents that they had to remain indoors and avoid others, except for grocery shopping, medical appointments and performance of essential jobs.

There have been more than 690,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 32,000.

In the United States, there have been 125,308 reported cases of the disease, and 2,246 deaths, according to the most recent figures.

Although most of the reported coronavirus cases in the United States are now in New York, that’s expected to move west to California in a matter of weeks.

“It isn’t just New York and Los Angeles and Seattle. Per capita, Wyoming is where Los Angeles is, North Dakota is where Los Angeles is. You can go almost anyplace and these numbers aren’t an if, it’s a when for all of us,” Garcetti said in an interview on CNN. “So I’m just glad that we enacted measures early but it will take 10 or 12 days before we see that impact. I am impressing on everybody: Stay home this weekend, we closed the beaches, the hiking trails. Those things that are L.A. But it’s so L.A. Can rise again one day in the future.”

Garcetti discussed virus testing in the city, as well as how well Angelenos are complying with the shelter in place rules.

“No, I think it’s the lag and the tests on average in this country are sometimes five to seven days. So what you’re seeing is only the diagnosed cases and you’re seeing a week ago. If we want to know where we are today, we’ll know in a few days,” he said. “I’ve ramped up testing just paid for by the city, drive through centers, four, we just opened up the fifth. I announced an historic agreement with UPS where they’ll drop off tests, pick them up and we need to know so we can chase down the cases we have while there’s time.

“This has been marvelously embraced by 99.9 percent of the people. But we’re going to hunt down the last 1 percent and say, ‘You got to get inside, you got to cut it out and distance.'”

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