LA Mayor Garcetti recommends Angelenos wear non-medical face coverings while in public

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is recommending that Angelenos wear non-medical face coverings or masks while in public for essential reasons.

During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Garcetti said physical distancing guidelines will remain in place, even if you wear a mask or cover your face.

"This is not an excuse to get closer," he said. "This isn't an excuse to suddenly all go out. You need to stay at home. But when you have to go out, we're recommending that we use non-medical grade masks or facial coverings."

Medical-grade masks, such as N95 masks, should be reserved for medical professions on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis in order to avoid any shortage.

When asked why the recommendation to wear masks wasn't handed down earlier, he said he had been waiting on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but didn't want to wait anymore. Garcetti said the city is aiming to reduce the spread of coronavirus from asymptomatic people, who are not exhibiting any symptoms but are still capable of spreading the virus through water droplets when they cough or sneeze.

He also mentioned that there may be similar guidance offered on a statewide level.

US Surgeon General: Face masks shouldn't be worn at 'expense of social distancing'
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The United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams didn't explicitly warn against using face coverings but said they cannot be worn "at the expense of social distancing."

In an effort to make personal protective gear and other supplies for "frontline workers," the city launched "L.A. Protects," a partnership with the fashion and garment industry to achieve that goal.

Under the initiative, the city hopes to manufacture five million non-medical masks for grocery store workers, non-medical hospital staff and "others providing essential services."

Additionally, Garcetti announced that he is instructing the L.A. Department of Water and Power to shut off service to any non-essential businesses that have violated the "Safer at Home" order. He said eight city businesses have been referred to the city attorney for misdemeanor charges.

Some farmers markets in Los Angeles and Santa Monica reopen with new distancing guidelines
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LA Farmers Market Update: Days after being ordered to temporarily close several farmers markets in Los Angeles have now reopened with approved physical distancing plans in order.

On other fronts the city is enforcing to curb the spread of the virus, L.A. took steps to keep farmers markets open days after they were ordered to temporarily close after an apparent lack of physical distancing at one in Brentwood.

Market organizers now must submit an operational plan to protect vendors and customers from COVID-19 before they are allowed to reopen. Garcetti says 24 farmers markets have already been approved to resume operations, with some new guidelines.

Food can longer be handled by customers and food samples are no longer allowed.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is recommending that Angelenos wear non-medical face coverings or masks while in public for essential reasons.

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