Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) is encouraging residents to report businesses that violate the city’s stay-at-home order aimed at combating the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
“If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance,” Garcetti said at a Tuesday press briefing.
The mayor stated that 540 businesses have been visited after breaking the order. So far, 144 businesses had Los Angeles Police Department officers visit them to ask that they uphold the rules. He noted that four business were referred to the city’s attorney’s office and face misdemeanor filings.
“You know the old expression about snitches — well, in this case, snitches get rewards,” he said. “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe.”
Garcetti’s remarks come as he faces growing skepticism over his decision to move some of the city’s growing homeless population to suburban recreation centers.
As Breitbart News reported:
There has been fear for weeks that coronavirus would spread quickly among the homeless population, who could be more vulnerable to the worst effects of the illness because of pre-existing illnesses and immune deficiencies.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has been moving homeless people to recreation centers in residential areas, arguing that it is safer for homeless people to be indoors.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines oppose relocating homeless people to large “congregate” spaces indoors, saying that social distancing outdoors, plus improved access to sanitation and other services, is preferable during the pandemic.
Earlier this week, a homeless individual at Dockweiler State Beach tested positive for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles is not the only major city where residents are reporting stay-at-home violators.
In hard-hit New York City, police arrested the owner of an illegal Brooklyn speakeasy where a dozen people were found drinking and gambling after a resident called 311 with a tip.
In Chicago, a yoga studio that believed it qualified as an essential health and wellness service was closed after the city — tipped off by several residents — disagreed. Teacher Naveed Abidi of Bikram Yoga West Loop studio said he thought the studio could remain open if the space was sanitized, class size limited, and students kept far enough apart.
“If we were naughty with the government’s order, then we’re very, very sorry,” said Abidi, who faces a fine of up to $10,000. “We’re not here to cause problems, we’re here to practice our poses.”
For most people, the new virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
But the virus is spreading rapidly and starting to max out the health care system in several cities.
Naugatuck, Connecticut, resident Gwen Becker said she was “mortified” when she drove by a golf course and saw a crowd gathered around a food truck and eating at tables together. So she took a video that her friend posted on Facebook — prompting the mayor to shut down the course.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.