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'Many People Will Get COVID-19' Says Mayor Garcetti As He Urges LA To Practice Social Distancing, Self-Quarantine

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday said the next few weeks will mark the most critical phase as the city deals with concerns over the coronavirus.

"This is the most critical phase that we will be in. This is the make or break time, where what we do, the social distancing, closing down events, facilities, will be the make or break two, three, four weeks from now," said Mayor Garcetti.

The mayor said he has met with the Grocers Association, and urged the public not to panic-buy.

"There is plenty of food out there. There will be plenty of food, not just for weeks, but for months to come," he said. "Panic buying isn't needed. In fact, putting yourself with a big crowd of people in a confined small space probably isn't the smartest thing to be doing right now as the community spread has been confirmed."

The mayor said that he has met with the heads of the hospitals and medical systems in Los Angeles.

"Some good news that we are hearing from that is that of the tests that have been given to those most critical, 75 percent of the LA County tests are coming back negative," he said.

The mayor said that there is a level of the crisis the city will not necessarily be prepared for.

But he urged the public to continue to self-quarantine and practice social distancing.

"These two weeks could make or break. At the end of these two weeks, I hope we flatten the curve," he said. "Many people will get COVID-19. It's just statistically going to happen. But, if we space that out so it doesn't overwhelm our healthcare system. If there's still vacant beds available two weeks from now in our hospitals, those were a good two weeks."

Finally, he urged the public to be good to their neighbors.

"This is a time for incredible acts of kindness," the mayor said. "It is time not to panic, but to help each other."

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