LA residents grapple with coronavirus uncertainty amid new restrictions

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As the novel coronavirus continues to alter how people live, Los Angeles County officials Thursday evening ordered nonessential businesses to close and residents to stay home as much as possible.

The "Safer at Home" order took effect Thursday at midnight for most and Friday at 11:59 p.m. for workers in businesses. It will last through April 19, possibly longer.

For Karen Owens of Long Beach, she says it's an uncertain time, but her focus is to educate her son and the community about social distancing and good hygiene practices.

"It's going to be a big adjustment for everyone, but together we can all make it through," Owens said.

LA County, city issue new "Safer at Home" restrictions on businesses, activities
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Los Angeles County officials are ordering nonessential businesses to close and residents to stay home as much as possible to help contain the coronavirus.

To educate residents of Long Beach and to keep the calm, the city has established a joint operations center near the Long Beach Airport, which Eyewitness News toured during Gov. Gavin Newsom's speech announcing a statewide directive for all Californians to stay home.

Long Beach officials, the fire and police departments, along with the health department are working in a unified command.

"We understand that there are things that need to take place for life to continue," said Eric Matusak, Incident Commander with the city of Long Beach. "People have to go to the doctor, they need to get groceries, things like that. We're encouraging neighbors to help their neighbors."

What won't be happening is police-led enforcement, but rather the encouragement of the public to enforce themselves, not gather in groups larger than 10 and stay at home.

"We're encouraging people to take their health seriously and we're encouraging our officers to continue the community engagement that we always have asked them to do," Matusak said.
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