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Los Angeles ‘On the Brink’ of New Restrictions to Contain Virus – Bloomberg

FILE - In this Monday, April 20, 2020, file photo members with Los Angeles Fire Department wear protective equipment at a COVID-19 testing site in the Skid Row district in Los Angeles. Coronavirus cases have surged to record levels in the Los Angeles area. Health officials said Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the nation's most populous county is in "an alarming and dangerous phase" that if not reversed could overwhelm intensive care units and usher in more sweeping closures. The three-day average of hospital patients in the county is above 2,000 for the first time. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

BLOOMBERG, JULY 19, 2020

Officials mull new stay-at-home orders, mask requirements |  ‘We’ve seen no national leadership,’ L.A. Mayor Garcetti says

By Emma Court and Yueqi Yang for Bloomberg – Los Angeles, facing a renewed onslaught of the novel coronavirus, may be “on the brink” of new restrictions, said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Another stay-at-home order was an option, Garcetti said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. But he emphasized that the city still had room in its hospitals and had been testing aggressively.

The mayor said he favors a “surgical” response to rising cases with a focus on lower-income individuals, communities of color, and places like factories where the virus commonly spreads, “rather than a cleaver that would just shut everything down,”

Garcetti, a Democrat, also criticized the Trump administration’s role in the public-health crisis.

“We’ve had to do so much that’s outside of our lane because of the lack of national leadership,” Garcetti said. “This was politicized when it should have been unified. We were left on our own when we needed help.”

Schools won’t hold in-person classes until Los Angeles sees at least 14 consecutive days of case decline and is removed from the state’s watch list, the mayor said.

Garcetti is just one of the U.S. officials who say they’re mulling further restrictions after weeks of surging cases and hospitalizations. New lockdowns as well as mask requirements are among proposals being considered.

Mississippi Masks

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, also speaking on CNN, argued that officials could only take a “surgical approach” to the virus if they were able to tailor it to local conditions — an approach the federal government has emphasized.

Mississippi doesn’t have a state-wide mask mandate but does have the requirement in 13 of 82 counties, said Reeves. He pointed to Los Angeles, which imposed the requirement at essential businesses in April, as an example of the limits of such a move. Mississippi, however, is “looking at bars” and could add new measures in that setting, Reeves said, without offering specifics.

Covid-19 cases are rising in Mississippi while ICU admissions and patients on ventilators are on the uptick. Reeves acknowledged that “we are seeing significant increased hospitalization” and said the state is working with hospitals and has contingency plans are in place. The state’s intensive-care units have always had capacity issues, even without a pandemic, Reeves said.

“That’s just the nature of the beast in a rural state,” Reeves said. “Is it challenging? Absolutely, it is. Does Covid-19 make it more difficult and more challenging? Absolutely, it does. But we are prepared, and we will make the decisions to make sure that every patients gets quality care.”

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