Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I've been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive, you must self-quarantine.
Even if you feel well now, it is possible that you are also infected. It can take 2-14 days to show symptoms, which is why you need to stay home and separate yourself from others in your home as much as possible. The L.A. County Department of Public Health website has detailed information on home quarantine in a dozen languages here. (See "What You Should Know"; "What if I'm Exposed")
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can spread from person to person and is caused by a novel coronavirus. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
People with at least two of these symptoms may also have COVID-19:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Find more information on COVID-19, see the L.A. County Department of Public Health website.
What should I do if I’m showing symptoms of COVID-19 or a family member is?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
If you are feeling sick, call your primary care doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center for advice. You can also learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to care for yourself or someone in your home from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, you should get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to rouse; bluish lips or face.
If you have life-threatening symptoms, you should call 911. If you are getting yourself to a healthcare facility, do not use public transportation. You should drive yourself, if possible. If you cannot drive yourself, keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the driver and leave the windows down.
You should wear a cloth face covering -- like a scarf or bandana wrapped around your mouth and nose -- to prevent exposing others to your respiratory droplets when you cough and sneeze. You can find more information on face coverings here.
What should I do if I am diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or been told by a clinician that you are presumed to be positive, you are required to isolate yourself at home.
The L.A. County Department of Public Health website has detailed information on home isolation in a dozen languages here. (See "What You Should Know"; "What if I'm Sick")
Should I cover my face when I leave home and interact with others?
Yes. You are required to wear a face covering when you leave your home and will be near other people.
Wearing a face covering will help to contain your respiratory droplets. But a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 — most importantly, staying home, practicing safe physical distancing, washing your hands often, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Face coverings were previously required to enter essential businesses like grocery stores. Now they’re required anywhere outside of your home, including:
- If you visit any retail business (except those in indoor malls), including those that are open only for curbside or doorside pick-up;
- If you exercise in your neighborhood, or a trail, golf course, or beach (where you must wear a face covering if you are out of the water and people are nearby);
- If you ride on LADOT transit buses and Metro buses and trains, or travel through LAX.
The new guidelines on face coverings exempt children under 2 and people with certain disabilities.
You can make your own face covering with a bandana, scarf, or piece of cloth. You can follow instructions available online from trusted sources, like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). You can also find links to local manufacturers selling face coverings at the L.A. Protects website. Face coverings should be washed after each use.
At this time, you should not be purchasing medical grade masks, which are in short supply. It is extremely important that these masks are reserved for those who need them most and have the highest risk of infection, including medical professionals, healthcare workers, public safety workers, and other front line workers.
Safer at Home Order
What is Safer at Home?
To further combat the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued a “Safer at Home” emergency order — ordering all residents of the City of Los Angeles to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs.
The virus spreads easily, and this Order is intended to prevent the spread of this disease from overwhelming our healthcare system. The goal here is to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and ensure we have adequate health care resources for those who get sick with COVID-19 and those who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.
What is allowed and what is prohibited?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Residents of the City of Los Angeles are safer at home. Even as we begin slow, gradual steps forward into our new reality, we recommend everyone remain inside their homes whenever possible. You are required to wear a face covering when you leave your home and will be near other people and should always maintain six feet of distance from others.
YOU CAN …
Go to the grocery store
Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
Go to a office, pet, or hardware store for supplies
Go to a retail business — curbside and doorside pick-up only
Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
Care for or support a friend or family member
Take a walk, ride your bike, jog, and be in nature for exercise — maintain six feet of distance from others
Visit a trail, trailhead park, golf course, or beach for active recreation only — maintain six feet of distance from others
Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian, groomer or trainer (drop-off only)
Help someone to get necessary supplies
YOU SHOULD NOT …
Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out, as possible
Travel to or from a job outside the City, unless to perform essential activities
Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility
Play group sports, or engage in outdoor activities in groups of any size
How long will the Order last?
Our Safer at Home order will continue to be adjusted to allow more businesses to operate and more people to get back to work as public health conditions allow. You can learn more about the stages of our response and recovery at the Safer L.A. website.
What is the difference between “safer at home” and “physical distancing”?
Safer at home is a stricter form of physical distancing. There are some differences. Safer at home means:
- Stay home (stay unexposed).
- Only go out for essential services -- and when you do, stay six feet or more away from others.
- Don’t gather in groups.
The best way to reduce the risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, applies to prevent COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Reduce the time you are around others outside the home, even when at least six feet away.
What are essential activities and what businesses are open?
The following essential activities and businesses -- which will be characterized by their business licenses --- will remain open:
- City/County government services;
- Police stations
- Fire stations
- Public Transportation
- Water, power, and gas utilities
- Public works construction, including construction of housing
- Airport and Port operations
- Gas service stations, car washes, car dealerships, auto parts supply, auto repair, bicycle repair shops and related facilities.
- Health care providers, including:
- Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
- Medical and scientific research
- Healthcare suppliers
- Home healthcare services providers
- Veterinary care providers
- Mental health providers
- Physical therapists and chiropractors
- Cannabis dispensaries
- Manufacturers and suppliers
- Healthcare operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities
- Food providers, including:
- Grocery stores
- Water retailers
- Certified farmers’ markets (with approved COVID-19 operational plans)
- Farm and produce stands
- Convenience stores
- Warehouse stores
- Food banks
- Pet food and medicine supply
- Take-out from restaurants, drive-thru restaurants, food trucks and delivery from restaurants
- Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing
- Hardware and building supply stores, day labor centers, and nurseries
- Wholesale flower markets
- All retail businesses are allowed to open (curbside and doorside pick-up and delivery only)
- Pet grooming and training retail businesses and mobile services (pets must be dropped off and picked up outside)
- Manufacturing that supports retail (with adherence to infection and distancing protocols)
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, day laborers, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other essential activities
- Banks, credit unions, financial institutions and insurance companies.
- Organizations and businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, (including gang prevention and intervention and domestic violence agencies).
- Laundromats/laundry service
- Newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts and journalism
- Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities -- for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions provided that physical distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible
- Businesses that supply or provide storage for products needed for people to work from home, including businesses that supply items necessary to religious practice.
- Utility companies and other businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support, services, or supplies necessary to operate, provided that strict physical distancing is maintained.
- Individuals or businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses, including rail and trucking.
- Airlines, taxis, ride sharing services, car rental companies, and other private transportation services providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order.
- Home-based care for disabled persons, seniors, adults, or children.
- Residential facilities and shelters for disabled persons, seniors, adults, and children.
- Professional services, such as legal, payroll or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.
- Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.
- Military/Defense Contractors/FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Centers)
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted, under restrictions contained in the Order.
What about Government Employees?
This Order does not apply to employees of government agencies working within the course and scope of their public service employment. Employees of the City of Los Angeles shall follow any current or future directives issued by the Mayor.
What about infrastructure and construction?
Individuals may leave their residences to provide any services or goods or perform any work necessary to the operations, maintenance and manufacturing of essential infrastructure, which includes but is not limited to:
- Construction of commercial and institutional buildings, and residential buildings and housing
- Airport operations, food supply, concessions, and construction
- Port operations and construction.
- Water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil extraction and refining.
- Roads, highways, public transportation and rail.
- Solid waste collection and removal, and recycling.
- Flood control and watershed protection.
- Internet and telecommunications systems and phone retail sales and servicing (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).
- And manufacturing and distribution companies deemed essential to the supply chains of the above industries.
Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?
Yes, but only if they provide essential services as described in the order. This would include non-profit operating food pantries, providing housing and services for homeless residents, and many other critical services.
Is this Order mandatory? What happens if individuals and businesses don’t comply?
Yes. The “Safer at Home” order is a legally enforceable order. Failure to heed the order is a misdemeanor that can result in fines or jail time.
The “Safer at Home” Business Ambassadors program will deploy City workers and volunteers with the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team to non-essential businesses that appear to be out of compliance with the emergency order. If voluntary compliance is not achieved, the ambassadors will share information with the City Attorney and LAPD for follow-up.
Is there a way to report a business that is violating the Order?
Members of the public can report out-of-compliance businesses using this complaint form.
Can I leave the City to go on a planned vacation?
The Order requires that you stay in your place of residence. Traveling runs the risk of spreading the virus to other areas and exposing new populations. Do not travel. If you live outside of the City of Los Angeles, you are allowed to travel to and from work if your work is essential business, or if you need to travel to the City of Los Angeles, for another essential service like medical appointment.
When can we return to normal life but still be safe and prepared for future waves of COVID-19?
Until there is a vaccine or effective treatment, COVID-19 will continue to be a serious public health threat to our communities, our city, and our country.
The City of Los Angeles will take a gradual and staged approach to our response to this crisis — working with leaders across the region and continuing to be guided by expertise from County, State, and Federal public health officials. This approach will enable us to slowly lift restrictions while carefully monitoring risks and needs, and adjusting our approach as needed.
The gradual relaxing of restrictions will require the patience, persistence and partnership of residents, businesses, workers, government representatives, and public health officials.
It’s not possible to offer a date yet, but one thing is clear: We have a long road ahead, and we will get through this challenging time together.
To learn more about the public health indicators that will drive decision-making over the coming year, see the Safer L.A. website.
Mayor Garcetti has also identified six factors that must be in place for Los Angeles to move toward a reopening. Some of these steps are already underway, but not at the scale necessary to restore a version of our previous lives. We also need to take these steps in a way that keeps us prepared and guards against future waves of COVID-19.
1. Widespread, rapid testing. We need to bring widespread, rapid testing to everyone with COVID-19 symptoms — and testing for asymptomatic people in settings with significant risks of transmission. There should be strong national standards for the quality and reliability of tests, and federal financial support and coverage requirements to guarantee supplies are affordable and available.
2. Real-time monitoring to detect and prevent new outbreaks. We need to link test results to a monitoring network — so that COVID-19 can be tracked in real time, and we can quickly detect new hotspots, track the success of interventions, and keep Americans informed. Federal support through the CDC should enable this to happen, with funds for state and local monitoring paired with electronic data sharing.
3. Rapid responses to new cases. We need a greater ability to quickly isolate cases, trace and communicate with contacts, and quarantine non-immune individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19. This will require rapid training and repurposing some workers into urgently needed new jobs. According to one estimate, we need 300,000 Americans to stand up a complete tracking and tracing infrastructure.
4. Hospital capacity. We need a national push to grow the capacity in ICUs, emergency rooms, and supplies for anywhere that the next wave of COVID-19 might strike.
5. Ongoing research and development. We need the CDC and other agencies to support standardized data collection and to collaborate more closely with states, universities, and labs to develop effective treatments and learn more about them in practice — and then help share this information with doctors and nurses on the front lines.
6. Blood testing. Blood testing for immunity can help identify Americans who could serve in workplaces, classrooms, and roles that may otherwise create significant risk of transmission. The existing antibody tests aren’t good enough yet. We need a better ability to measure antibodies and understand how test results translate into actual immunity.
Is testing being done at nursing homes or assisted living facilities?
Yes. Mayor Garcetti issued an order on April 24th requiring all Skilled Nursing Facilities to offer testing to residents and staff at least once a month.
In addition, if a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, or respiratory hospital sees the start of a possible outbreak of COVID-19, the City may be able to help with urgent COVID-19 testing.
If you are an administrator or medical director of such a facility, you can request assistance at coronavirus.lacity.org/assistedliving.
Is the City providing testing for COVID-19?
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the County of Los Angeles and CORE (Community Organized Relief Response Effort), is providing free COVID-19 testing to L.A. County residents. The tests provided through this program are mouth swab tests that do not require assistance.
L.A. is the first major city in America to offer wide scale COVID-19 testing to all residents, whether or not they have symptoms.
Priority for same or next day appointments will be given to individuals with symptoms, as well as medical professionals and certain other critical front-line workers who interact with the public as part of their job duties, including:
- First responders
- Health care professionals
- Grocery workers
- Critical government personnel
- Delivery, commercial, rideshare, taxi and public transit drivers
- Credentialed members of the media
- Construction workers
Can I still call 3-1-1?
Yes. 3-1-1 is still available for immediate access to information; or 213-473-3231 if outside the city limits.
3-1-1 calls are answered 7:00am - 7:00pm on weekdays and 8:00am - 4:45pm on weekends.
Service is available in English, Spanish, and 150+ other languages through the use of translation services, as well as for the hearing or speech impaired. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Will my trash still get picked up?
Trash collection services are operating at full capacity.
LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) is also offering free extra collection of black and blue bins on regularly scheduled waste collection days through the duration of the Safer at Home order.
If you have extra bags of trash or recycling that don’t fit in your bins, you should meet the truck outside when it arrives. Customers are asked to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of distance. Once the bin is emptied, you can refill it while the Sanitation team is there, and they'll dump it out again.
If you have any questions, please call the Sanitation Department’s 24-hour customer care center at (800) 773-2489 or dial 3-1-1.
All of the City’s SAFE Centers will be closed until further notice. Please do not place household hazardous waste (HHW) in any of your bins. HHW should be stored until SAFE Centers reopen.
You can schedule curbside collection of electronic waste and bulky items by calling (800) 773-2489 or by using the MyLA311 app.
Is the public library open?
L.A.’s 73 public libraries are closed. Digital services remain available 24/7 at lapl.org, including e-books and audiobooks; streaming TV, movies, and music services; classes and digital subscriptions to newspapers and magazines.
The “Spring Into Reading Program” allows young readers to log their books and complete fun at-home activities. LAPL is also offering virtual storytimes with librarians.
Every L.A. Unified student has been assigned a Student Success Card and can access distance learning support online, along with tutoring assistance in math, science, English, social studies, and writing between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day.
No late fines are being charged and due dates are being automatically extended.
Are senior centers open?
All Multipurpose Senior Centers and dining sites are closed to the public. All programs and activities are canceled for the duration of the Safer at Home order.
On April 15, Mayor Garcetti launched the Emergency Senior Meals Response program to deliver packaged and frozen meals to older Angelenos who are homebound as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The program has both increased the number of seniors being served, and provided additional meals to those already enrolled in meal programs with the City’s senior centers. Altogether, 120,000 meals are being delivered to 12,000 seniors every week.
Now, Mayor Garcetti is expanding the Emergency Senior Meals Response program through FEMA and State dollars made available through Governor Newsom’s statewide program to enlist local restaurants in the effort to provide older and high-risk Californians with prepared meals as they stay safer at home. For 10 weeks, the program will deliver 10 meals a week to eligible seniors in need.
To qualify, you must be 65 or over, or 60-64 with an underlying medical condition, live in the City of Los Angeles, and not be enrolled currently in another meal program (e.g., Meals on Wheels, CalFresh, etc.).
Seniors or their caregivers can check to see if they are eligible by calling the Emergency Senior Meals Response Hotline at (213) 263-5226. The hotline is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. You can also find more information and enroll here.
For other resources to support elements of daily life impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors can call the Department of Aging at (213) 482-7252 or visit the Department of Aging website.
Are animal shelters open?
For the duration of the Safer at Home order, the following L.A. Animal Services Centers are open by appointment only: Chesterfield Square/South Los Angeles, East Valley, Harbor, and West L.A. Staff will continue to be on hand to care for the animals already in shelters.
If you have an emergency with a sick or injured animal, call 1-888-452-7381 to find the nearest shelter and describe the situation. If there are no available appointments, staff will meet you in the parking lot of the nearest shelter that is open. Do not abandon and leave your pet outside the Center. Pet abandonment is a violation of CA Penal Code 597.
If you find a lost pet, post a photo and description on LA City Lost and Found Pets, Nextdoor, Pawboost, or Shadowapp and hang flyers in your neighborhood to help reunite the pet with his or her family. You can also participate in the Shelter at Home program and temporarily keep and care for the pet or you can call 1-888-452-7381 to make an appointment to bring the pet to the nearest Animal Services Center.
If you want to adopt or foster a pet, call 1-888-452-7381 for information or to make an appointment. You can also visit LAAnimalServices.com.
Is parking enforcement continuing? Who can I call for questions about parking enforcement?
Mayor Garcetti put a temporary halt to the issuance of several parking citations so that Angelenos can more effectively practice the safe physical distancing necessary during this crisis.
The following relaxed parking rules will be in place until at least June 1st:
- Relaxed enforcement of street sweeping restrictions in residential areas
- Relaxed enforcement around closed schools
- Moratorium on ticketing and towing for abandoned vehicles and oversize vehicle overnight parking fines
- Freeze on parking fine increases for the next 60 days
- Extended grace period for people dropping off or picking up groceries and goods
- Immediate extension on all deadlines for payment due until June 1
- Moratorium on ticketing or towing for expired car registration
Enforcement will be focused on operations that prioritize health, safety, and emergency access — including colored curbs, street sweeping around encampments, peak-hour restrictions, and repaving and slurry operations.
It will also continue at metered spaces to encourage parking turnover for businesses and restaurants relying on takeout and deliveries.
Additionally, Mayor Garcetti directed the LAPD Chief Michel Moore to issue guidance to police officers to refrain, during this emergency period, from issuing citations for driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations that have expired in the last six months.
Drivers within the City of Los Angeles will nonetheless be expected to obey all other laws; nothing in this memorandum should be construed to suggest that LAPD will not be enforcing all moving violations, consistent with state and local laws and any applicable emergency orders.
For questions about parking enforcement, call 3-1-1. You can also find the most up-to-date information on parking at http://ladot.lacity.org/coronavirus.
Resources for Renters and Homeowners
What assistance is available for renters impacted by COVID-19?
For the duration of this local emergency period, landlords cannot evict residential and commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 30th, Mayor Garcetti signed an ordinance that builds on his previous emergency order, giving eligible residential tenants 12 months following the expiration of the local emergency period to repay any missed rent during the emergency period. Commercial tenants have three months to pay back their rent.
For more information, see the Housing and Community Investment Department website. You can find a fact sheet on residential tenant protections and a form to notify your landlord of inability to pay full rent due to the COVID-19 emergency here.
You can also call the HCID hotline at (866) 557-7368, Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., and weekends, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
What can I do if my landlord isn’t obeying these orders?
If you are facing eviction, or if your landlord has questions on the emergency order, please contact the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) hotline at (866) 557-7368, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You can find more information on tenants' rights during this emergency on the HCID website.
Are there resources for homeowners who can’t keep up with their mortgage payments?
The State of California is working to soften the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage bills. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for homeowners in California.
Under the Governor’s proposal, Californians who are struggling with the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for relief after contacting their financial institution, including mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which allow you to reduce or delay your monthly mortgage payment. To learn more, visit the State’s Covid-19 Response website.
The federal government has announced several programs, including low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover. To learn more, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
What if I can’t afford an increase in my rent?
Mayor Garcetti signed an emergency order to halt any new rent increases on residential units that are subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).
If you live in a rent stabilized unit, you will not be subject to any new rent increase for a full year after the emergency period ends.
To find out if you live in an RSO property, text "RSO" to 1-855-880-7368. You can learn more about L.A.’s RSO here.
Resources for Workers
What assistance is available for workers impacted by COVID-19?
If your employer has cut your hours or shut down operations in this crisis, you can apply for unemployment benefits from our state immediately. Visit the state’s employment development department at edd.ca.gov.
The State also oversees paid family leave if you are providing care for an ill or quarantined family member, disability benefits for particularly long illnesses, and workers’ compensation if you were exposed to COVID-19 while on the job and in the course of your regular duties.
To learn more and apply for these benefits, please visit the EDD’s website.
Where can I get help with completing forms to receive state unemployment insurance?
The City’s WorkSource and YouthSource Centers are available to assist job seekers and young people in Los Angeles over the phone and via email. WorkSource Centers provide information and assistance to adults on state unemployment insurance applications and supplemental job placement assistance. To contact the City’s centers, please visit ewddlacity.com.
Where can I look for a job if I have been impacted by COVID-19?
The City has launched LAJobsPortal.org for those whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19. This website helps unemployed or underemployed Angelenos find and apply to job opportunities across industries, and connects them to a repository of additional resources such as emergency assistance and healthcare.
What are trusted sources for COVID-19 employment related updates?
- The state’s Employment Development Department
- The City’s Economic and Workforce Development Department and LAJobsPortal.org
- The County of Los Angeles’s Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services
What is the City doing to protect essential workers?
Mayor Garcetti issued an order requiring employees of non-medical essential businesses to wear cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths while at work.
The order applies to workers in grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, taxis and rideshare vehicles, and construction sites, among many other essential businesses. Employers are required to provide face coverings to employees, or reimburse employees for their cost. These businesses must also make sure their employees have access to a clean and sanitary restroom along with proper cleansing products, like soap and sanitizer, and allow them to wash their hands every 30 minutes. Businesses are also required to implement physical distancing measures for customers, visitors, and workers. The order also recommends that, whenever possible, businesses install plexiglass barriers between cashiers and customers.
Angelenos are required to wear face coverings when they frequent an essential business and when they do a curbside or doorside pick-up of an order. You can find links to local manufacturers selling face coverings at the L.A. Protects website.
Resources for Businesses
What assistance is available for businesses impacted by COVID-19?
Washington’s coronavirus relief bill includes $349 billion in Small Business Administration loans. The package establishes two types of loans:
- Economic Injury Disaster loans, which help U.S. agricultural businesses make up for temporary loss of revenue; and,
- Paycheck Protection Program (or PPP), which helps businesses keep workers on payroll during this emergency.
A second round of PPP funding was announced on April 27th, with $310 billion in new money for the program. Applications remain open.
To help clear up confusion about what businesses should apply for which loans, Mayor Garcetti launched the L.A. CARES Corps, a partnership between the City and County to provide small businesses with the help they need to apply for federal loans.
The L.A. CARES Corps website has a clear explanation of the two emergency loan programs and a way to directly access loan applications. Business owners can also reach out to a call-in center at (833)-238-4450 for help from loan counselors trained in completing SBA applications.
For businesses that are not eligible for an SBA loan, the Economic and Workforce Development Department has a Small Business Emergency Microloan program. The no-fee microloans of $5,000 to $20,000 can be used to cover working capital.
The Mayor has launched a series of “Toolkits for Businesses,” outlining guidelines and suggested protocols for businesses that are reopening, including County requirements. Each Toolkit is developed to reflect the unique needs of each industry. Sample signage and directional posters are available as well, to remind both employees and patrons to abide by health protocols.
There’s also a Small Business Resilience Toolkit to provide business owners with a directory of resources to navigate existing financial support for both small business entities and their employees.
For additional assistance applying for a City, SBA or Federal financial program, please contact a BusinessSource Center near you.
Also, note that the City’s eviction protection applies to commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial tenants in the City of Los Angeles cannot be evicted and will have three months following the expiration of the local emergency period to repay any back due rent.
Is guidance available for businesses on curbside pick-up?
All retail locations, including indoor retailers at shopping malls, are allowed to open for delivery and curbside and doorside pick-up. Both employees and customers are required to wear face coverings.
Businesses can find guidance on steps to ensure the safety of their employees and customers and other helpful information in the Safer L.A. Toolkit for Businesses, including the retail establishment physical distancing checklist that they will need to post upon reopening.
In addition, any retail shop can get a Temporary Pick-Up Zone permit from the Department of Transportation -- the permit allows for a parking spot right out front, where customers can park while they pick up items.
For businesses and restaurants that apply and get approval, new signs designating these spots will be supplied and installed within three days, free of charge. You can find more information and an application here.
Can I leave home to exercise?
Yes, but only if you are outdoors and not in close contact with other people. Otherwise, no, because fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities are closed. You are required to wear a face covering when you leave your home and will be near other people.
Are the city’s parks and recreation centers open?
Parks will remain open during regular park hours for the purpose of walking, running or jogging. Please be sure to keep at least six feet between yourself and others. You are also required to wear a face covering whenever you are near other people.
All gymnasiums, sports fields and courts, playground, fitness equipment, playgrounds, skate parks, pools and other park amenities remain closed. All recreation and cultural programming at all facilities are canceled; this includes all recreational and cultural activities, indoor and outdoor sports leagues, aquatics classes, instructional courses, and group sessions. All events and permits of 50 people or more at L.A. Recreation & Parks sites or locations are canceled. Gatherings should continue to be limited to fewer than 10 people, maintaining social distancing.
Dog parks are open. As of May 9th, golf courses will be open.
Are public trails and trailheads open?
All public trails and trailhead parks are open. Visitors will be required to maintain physical distancing and wear a face covering when they are near other people. Monitoring will be in place.
Are the beaches open?
Yes. L.A. beaches are open, but for active recreation only (such as swimming, running, walking, surfing, and bodyboarding).
You are not permitted to sit or sunbathe, gather in groups, picnic, or participate in group sports (like volleyball).
If you go to the beach to exercise, you must wear a face covering out of the water if there are people nearby and maintain six feet of distance from others.
City beach parking lots at Cabrillo and Venice Beach and bike paths are open, as are the county opening paths and lots at partial capacity at Dockweiler State Beach, Will Rogers State Beach, Zuma Beach, and Surfrider Beach.
Concessions, food vending, the Venice Pier, and the sports facilities at Venice Beach remain closed.
Is there a way to slow down traffic in my neighborhood to make it safer for people to exercise?
Yes. To temporarily calm traffic on some neighborhood streets and create space for Angelenos to walk, run, and bike, Mayor Garcetti launched Slow Streets L.A.. It allows for “active use” only and prohibits people from gathering, barbecuing, or playing games that involve physical contact of any kind. As always, you are expected to keep at least six feet apart at all times and required to wear a face covering while engaging in active recreation.
Neighborhood councils and community organizations can apply for Slow Streets L.A. A lead organization in each participating community will monitor day-to-day operations of the program, working closely with LADOT and Streets LA to ensure compliance with all health and safety guidelines. Local traffic and parking for residents is still allowed on the streets of each neighborhood participating in the program.
Is the L.A. River open for recreation?
Starting May 25th, two recreation zones along the L.A. River will be open for walking, biking, fishing, and bird watching. If you visit the L.A. River, you are required to follow physical distancing protocols and wear a face covering if you’re near other people.
Water activities like kayaking are not permitted and swimming remains prohibited as always.
You can find more information about public access points and the latest news about the L.A. River here.
Food and Supplies
Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?
Yes. You can shop for health care items, as well as office, pet, and hardware supplies. These shops will continue to remain open in their current format.
As of May 13th, all retail businesses are allowed to open for delivery and curbside and doorside pick-up only. Indoor retailers at shopping malls are also allowed to offer curbside service.
You should minimize unnecessary shopping trips and are required to wear a face covering when you pick up an order, either curbside or doorside.
Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?
No. Entertainment venues like these are not permitted to be open during this Order.
Can I go to the bank?
Yes, but avoid unnecessary trips.
Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?
Yes. You are required to wear a face covering.
Can I get my hair cut or styled at a beauty salon or barbershop?
No. These businesses are ordered closed under the “Safer at Home” emergency order.
Can I go to the gym or health club?
No. Gyms are ordered closed.
Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?
Yes. Please call first to determine if there are any restrictions in place.
Am I able to take my pet to be groomed?
Yes. Pet grooming and training retail businesses and mobile services are allowed to operate. You cannot enter the business, however, and will need to drop off and pick up your pet outside the store, or home if a mobile service.
Are supplies of food and other necessities running low?
No. There is no shortage of supplies at our grocery stores and no reason to over-buy.
Grocery, convenience, and warehouse stores and pharmacies are frequently restocking. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally do. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone.
As part of the directive, trucks and other vehicles engaged in the delivery of grocery items to stores are exempt from nightly curfews — a measure which will help ensure stores remain well-stocked.
Are florists and flower shops open?
Starting May 8th, retail flower shops will be open for curbside pickup and delivery only. Flower shops can find guidance on curbside pickup here.
Flower wholesalers are currently open and required to follow the City’s physical distancing guidelines. As with any essential business, customers of wholesale flower markets are required to wear face coverings.
Is my favorite restaurant, cafe, coffee shop, etc. still open?
Yes, but only for delivery and pick up. Customers and employees are required to wear a face covering for curbside and doorside pick-ups.
Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are encouraged to stay open, but patrons will not be permitted to dine-in.
Are funeral homes and mortuaries open?
Yes. The work performed by funeral home workers and morticians is considered essential under the order.
I don’t cook--how can I purchase meals?
Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and similar establishments may remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and carryout. You can also purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers. You are required to wear a face covering when you visit any essential business or make a curbside or doorside pick-up of an order.
What if my plumbing gets stopped up? How will I access essential services for my home?
Call your plumber or building manager. This Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, exterminators and building managers to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit hardware stores, which are allowed to stay open under the Order.
How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?
Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises and must instead be delivered or picked up to be consumed at home.
Are farmers markets open?
Yes. For a complete list of farmers markets that have been approved to resume operations, including their locations and days of operation, see https://streetsla.lacity.org/covid. You are required to wear a face covering when you shop at a farmers market.
On March 30th, Mayor Garcetti required all certified farmers markets in Los Angeles to submit plans to the Bureau of Street Services for approval on how they will ensure safe operations, including for hygiene and physical distancing.
Can I go to the store (grocery store, market, corner store, food bank, etc.)?
Yes, you can go to the store to buy food, drinks and goods for yourself, for those in your home, and for anyone else that needs help. This also includes medical supplies at a pharmacy and supplies at a hardware store. When out of your house always maintain six feet of distance from other people. You are required to wear a cloth face covering any time you visit an essential business.
Is there a way for seniors to get meals delivered to their homes?
To reach older Angelenos who are homebound as a result of the COVID-19 crisis with packaged and frozen meals delivered to their homes, Mayor Garcetti launched the Emergency Senior Meals Response program.
To qualify, you must be 65 or over, or 60-64 with an underlying medical condition, live in the City of Los Angeles, and not be enrolled currently in another meal program (e.g., Meals on Wheels, CalFresh, etc.).
Seniors or their caregivers can check to see if they’re eligible by calling the Emergency Senior Meals Response Hotline at (213) 263-5226. The hotline is open 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. You can also find more information and enroll here.
In the first phase of the Emergency Senior Meals Response program, the Mayor’s Office partnered up with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, the Department of Aging, Everytable, and Access Services to deliver 120,000 meals to 12,000 seniors every week.
Through a new statewide program that allows the City to access both FEMA and State dollars, the Mayor’s Office is expanding the Emergency Senior Meals Response program. For 10 weeks, the program will deliver 10 meals a week to eligible seniors in need.
Partners in this program include the Hospitality Training Academy, an L.A.-based workforce and training organization, created by Unite HERE Local 11, that trains and develops workers in the food service and hospitality industries. Taxicab drivers will do point-to-point delivery of senior meals, picking up meals directly from restaurants or Hospitality Training Academy sites and dropping them off at people’s homes.
For other resources to support elements of daily life impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors can call the Department of Aging at (213) 482-7252 or visit the Department of Aging website.
Can grocery stores other food retailers remain open?
Yes. Grocery stores, water retailers, produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food to the public.
When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain at least six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line. You are required to wear a cloth face covering when you are running essential errands.
Is it safe to order takeout and delivery?
According to the CDC, it is not likely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food. It may be possible to be infected with COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not recognized as the primary mechanism of spreading the virus.
According to the FDA, no evidence currently exists to suggest food packaging is associated with transmission of the novel coronavirus. You can wipe down a product’s packaging, but the FDA notes this is an extra precaution.
You are much more likely to be exposed to coronavirus through close contact with someone who has the virus. And ordering from your favorite local restaurant is a great way to support small businesses during this crisis.
Are sidewalk vendors allowed to continue operations?
Food vendors with a valid health permit issued by the County Department of Public Health are allowed to continue operations, as long as they comply with physical distancing requirements for customers waiting to order or pick up food.
StreetsLA is paying extra attention to sidewalk vending activities to reduce incidents of people congregating, as well as to enforce distancing requirements and ensure that food vendors have valid health permits.
Can I still get deliveries from local businesses and online stores?
Yes. The mail and other delivery services can continue to function, as can food delivery services. Just be sure to wear a face covering an keep six feet between you and the person making your delivery.
Health Care and Caregiving
Can I visit loved ones in a hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing or other facility?
Generally no. There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance. For most other situations, the Order prohibits non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities. If you need more information, please contact the facility directly by phone. This is difficult, but necessary in order to protect hospital staff and other patients.
Is support available for people who are feeling anxious or depressed due to COVID-19?
Yes. If you are looking for support, you can call the L.A. County Mental Health Services 24/7 help line at (800) 854-7771 or, if you prefer texting, you can start a conversation with a trained counselor by texting “L.A.” to 741741.
More information and resources are available in multiple languages can be found on the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.
The LA Warmline is another source for confidential telephone support between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at (855) 952-9276
And, through a County partnership with Headspace, L.A. County residents have free access to their mindfulness and wellbeing platform for the rest of the year. The free Headspace subscription includes access to hundreds of guided meditations in English and Spanish, as well as movement and sleep exercises to help manage stress, fear and anxiety related to COVID-19. You can learn more and sign up here.
Can partners be present in the delivery room for childbirth during the COVID-19 crisis?
At this time, it varies by hospital. The L.A. County Department of Public Health recommends that healthcare facilities follow CDC guidance around pregnancy and delivery, which state that a limited number of visitors should be in the room.
Can I still seek non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, elective procedures?
To the extent possible, all non-essential health care visits should be cancelled, postponed, or conducted remotely if possible.
Can I leave home to care for elderly parents, friends, or family members who need assistance?
Yes. You are permitted to provide care or get supplies for loved ones. Be sure that you follow physical distancing guidelines and maintain at least 6 feet of distance when possible, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and cough or sneeze into a tissue. You are also required to wear a cloth face covering to keep your respiratory droplets to yourself whenever you are outside your home and will be near other people.
Education and Child Care
If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to pick them up?
How can students get meals with schools closed?
Los Angeles Unified, in partnership with the Red Cross, will continue to provide nutritious meals to all students who need them during the temporary closure of schools. There are 60 Grab & Go Food Centers open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Each child can take home two nutritious meals.
What do I do about my kids? I have to work.
The Order allows you to take steps necessary to take your children to authorized childcare. Otherwise, you should address childcare needs as you are able given the constraints of the situation.
How will I entertain my kids? Can we go to the playground or arrange playdates?
Do your best to entertain your children with games, reading, puzzles, and TV/videos at home. Engage them in educational online tools. However, you should not take them to the playground or arrange playdates. Children are not able to maintain physical distance, and even adults are prohibited from socializing with friends in this manner. It is essential that we stop the spread of the virus by not having in-person social interactions.
Can my children remain in childcare? Will my daycare be shut down?
Childcare facilities may only operate if they comply with the conditions of this Order as they related to child care. Among these conditions, children must be cared for in groups of 12 or fewer, groups of children may not mix with each other, and providers may not circulate between groups.
Is LAX open during this crisis?
Yes. However, airlines have dramatically reduced domestic and international flights for the coming months as they deal with reduced demand and travel restrictions. And Angelenos are encouraged to limit all non-essential travel.
If you do travel through LAX, you are required to wear a face covering.
You can find more information on the steps LAX is taking to keep travelers and employees safe here.
Is LADOT Transit still running?
Yes. LADOT Transit service is reduced based on lower demand.
All passengers on LADOT buses including DASH, Commuter Express, and CityRide, are required to wear a face covering.
To support physical distancing, LADOT Transit is limiting the number of passengers allowed on DASH buses at any one time. 30-foot buses are limited to 10 passengers and 35-foot buses are limited to 12 passengers. Customers must board and exit DASH buses, which are free, through the rear door only.
You can find the most up-to-date information on LADOT Transit here.
What is the city doing to clean and disinfect public spaces?
Metro has increased its cleaning efforts at major transit hubs like Union Station with a special focus on high touch point areas like handrails, elevator call buttons, and ticket vending machines.
Buses and trains are cleaned at least once per day with EPA-approved disinfectants. Metro is reviewing cleaning protocols and will update them as recommended as this crisis evolves.
Metro is also installing sanitation stations and hand sanitizer dispensers at major transit stops and stations to allow riders to wash their hands, and signs that describe what individuals can do to reduce risk of exposure to the virus.
Additionally, StreetsLA has doubled cleanings for transit shelters operated by OUTFRONT/JC Decaux, increasing from twice a week to four times a week.
Can I use ride share, on demand service, or a taxi?
Only for essential travel. You should avoid being in a vehicle with many other people. In circumstances under which such transportation is necessary, you are required to wear a face covering, and should cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after rides. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers, like Uber and Lyft, providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes are expressly authorized in the “Safer at Home” Order.
Can I take public transportation (bus, subway, train)?
Only for essential travel. Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. When using public transit, you are required to wear a face covering.
Are Metro buses and trains still running?
Yes, but with service adjustments based on lower demand. Metro bus and rail is operating under a modified Sunday schedule.
All riders of the Metro bus and rail system required to wear a face covering. Customers must board and exit Metro buses through the rear door only. The front door will remain available to wheelchair riders and those who need the wheelchair ramp.
You can find the most up-to-date information, including adjusted timetables, here.
What is being done to protect homeless Angelenos?
There are 24 emergency shelters providing more than 850 beds at recreation centers across Los Angeles. Along with health and temperature checks of all program participants prior to site entry and at regular intervals every day. Social distancing is maintained inside the sites, and all surfaces are regularly disinfected.
Through support from Governor Newsom, the City has staged camper trailers next to the recreation center shelters. These trailers are for vulnerable individuals who, according to the CDC and public health professionals, are the most at-risk of infection because they are elderly or medically compromised.
As hotel and motel rooms become available under Project Roomkey, a state program supported by the City, LAHSA, the County, and nonprofit partners, these asymptomatic residents will be relocated to them. If motels and hotels want to help, they can sign up at Coronavirus.LACity.org/Rooms.
The City has also provided free COVID-19 testing kits to shelters, clinics, and healthcare providers serving homeless Angelenos to ensure that our unhoused neighbors have access to this critical resource.
What can I do to help a homeless Angeleno in need of services?
If you see someone on the street who could benefit from a visit from an outreach worker, please use the LA-HOP outreach portal to request a visit, and LAHSA will dispatch a specialized team to their location.
And if you encounter any individual, homeless or housed, who is experiencing life threatening complications like shortness of breath, please call 911.
How to Help
How can I volunteer to help Angelenos impacted by this crisis?
To find ways to help in this crisis, visit VolunteerLA to search for opportunities by cause (for example, “hunger” or “senior services”), frequency and type of service, location, and more via our new Nonprofit Directory.
Here are some other things you can do –– so long as you are healthy, not a member of a vulnerable population, and meet all advised public health requirements:
- Donate to food banks and volunteer to ensure our most vulnerable populations are still able to provide for their families. Much needed items include canned goods, peanut butter, toilet paper, antibacterial cleansers, and financial contributions.
- Volunteer with the American Red Cross to help distribute meals to students affected by school closures or as a volunteer blood donor to address the current blood shortage.
- Do neighbor check-ins: Offer to pick up groceries or medications for those who aren't able to and stay connected by calling your neighbors, friends, and loved ones who might appreciate human connection despite physical distancing.
- Consider virtual volunteer opportunities with organizations like L.A. Works.
- Check-in with your local homebound meal delivery programs: Many of these programs are scaling up to support the increased need and need volunteers. Find a location near you and call to ask if they need assistance.
- Volunteer with CORE Response to support the COVID-19 testing program.
How can I offer financial support to Angelenos impacted by this crisis?
The L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund was created by The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to provide relief to families and small businesses impacted by the crisis, support and protect healthcare workers and first responders, shelter uhhoused neighbors, and strengthen the City's capacity to respond to emergency needs and plan for long-term recovery.
The Angeleno Fund is another program of The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles designed to give Angelenos a means of providing direct financial assistance to families experiencing extreme financial hardship, many of whom are immigrants or independent workers who will not qualify for other benefits.
I’m a garment or apparel manufacturer; How can I help?
L.A. Protects is a partnership to organize the city’s fashion and garment industry to make protective gear and other medical supplies for frontline workers. The goal is to produce 5 million non-medical masks for people who need protection — grocery store workers, non-medical staff in hospitals, and others providing essential services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Garment and apparel manufacturers in the city can sign up here to be part of the program. You can also find the information developed by Kaiser Permanente on approved specifications, materials, and processes for producing protective gear.
How does a nonprofit join the City’s online directory?
Nonprofits working to provide services during this pandemic that need volunteers can join the City’s new Nonprofit Directory by visiting VolunteerLA. Click on the “Nonprofit Directory” tab in the header. From there, go to “About” then “Getting Started.” You will then be prompted with instructions on how to register your agency. Please note this is for nonprofits that need volunteers and you will be prompted to input your EIN.