Employees at Essential Businesses to Wear Masks

Mayor Eric Garcetti gave out a new directive when it came to masks for the public and for essential businesses.

Customers who frequent the essential businesses must wear a cloth face covering and so do the employees who work there.

He reminded the public on Thursday at midnight that face coverings will be mandatory whenever someone goes shopping or working at a store, hotel, pharmacy and more beginning Thursday at midnight. 

Starting Thursday at midnight all employees of many nonmedical essential businesses will be required to wear cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth while at work and employers are required to provide these protections or reimburse employees for their costs, he said.

Those include grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, taxis, construction sites and other essential businesses.

Other cities like Santa Monica and Culver City also will implement the directive of essential workers and customers wearing mandatory masks.

He said all Angelenos, who are customers, will also be required to cover their faces while in any of the essential businesses listed above and if they don't, they can be refused service.

He said the city is also encouraging all essential retail businesses to add plexiglass barriers between cashiers and customers.  

How to wear and make a face covering: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth...

Garcetti said the city is doubling its deaths every three to four days. 

"I need your help," he said.

He said based on the early data on the deaths, no age group, racial or ethnic group, is immune to the virus. He said the virus is disproportionately killing African Americans in LA County.

"If you are young, it can find you and kill you or a loved one. No matter what community you live in, this is a threat to you," he said.

He also gave an update on the available beds: 1,406 beds available, 258 of those are ICU beds and 1,110 ventilators that are ready to serve people.

Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed what Dr. Barbara Ferrer said earlier in the day, which is this week will be a critical week in the fight against the crisis.

"This will be a critical week in our fight against this crisis," he said. "This week is a make-or-break week for us all."

The new directive to wear a cloth mask while at an essential business comes after Garcetti urging wearing a non-medical grade facial covering while out in public - and not an N95 mask. He has stressed to leave the N95 masks for the doctors and nurses and other health frontline workers.

At one previous briefing, Ferrer said she joined the mayor in "awe about the sacrifices everyone's making. The big changes people are adapting to."

"We are in this together and if we all do our part this will be a little easier. And if we are not able to do our part it will have tremendous implications in our community," she said.

She said that asymptomatic people can still be infectious and capable of spreading the virus. She stressed the six feet for social distancing.

"Keep your distance and it really helps limit the ability of other people to expose you to the virus," she said. "You need to take responsibility for trying not to expose others."

She stressed ordinary people and the public doesn't need N95 masks or medical masks -- leave those for the healthcare workers who need the masks to shield themselves from patients.