LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on CNN Wednesday afternoon that his office may recommend canceling large gatherings like concerts and sporting events until 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands any time soon," he said. "So I think we should be prepared for that this year."
The mayor said the matter was discussed Monday at a meeting of high-ranking city department staff, but no specific timeline on the resumption of large events was agreed upon.
"I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly, but until there's either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention or herd immunity, the science is the science," he added. "Public health officials have been very clear: We've got many miles to walk before we're going to be back in those
Other essential and small businesses would reportedly be "phased in over a period of time (6-10 months)," according to an email cited by the Los Angeles Times.
But just a few hours later, the mayor walked back his remarks in his daily briefing saying there was no hard timeline.
"All I know is while we don't know the date when those things will return, I know that they will be sooner the more that we take these actions," he said.
And earlier Wednesday, Los Angeles County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that Dodger fans should not expect to gather in Chavez Ravine this year, but said that the boys in blue could play — as long as fans were not in attendance.
"Dodgers games I would imagine that, at whatever point that becomes a reality, they're spectator free," she said. "We can't really have large numbers of people coming together because we don't have enough immunity yet."
Ferrer also said that when the stay at home rules are relaxed, possibly this summer, the changes would not stop there.
"More retail shops will be open at some point in the near future but there will be limits on how many people can be in a store at any given time," she said. "Our arts and cultural sites will reopen at some point in the future, but events may be spectator free."
And she said once hiking trails reopen, they will be one way and people should expect to have their temperatures taken before entering buildings such as their place of employment.
Ferrer said that if Angelenos continued to stay indoors and the state worked to improve hospital capacity, testing availability, tracking and tracing efforts, the region could start to see the first steps of relaxing the stay at home orders by the beginning of summer.
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