(UPDATE) City Responds to Coronavirus and Cancels All Non-Essential City Events and Meetings
(Last update: March 12, 2020 at 5:50 PM PST)
The City of West Hollywood is continuing to follow the lead of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health), the California Department of Public Health (CA Public Health), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to respond to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The City of West Hollywood is taking every precaution to prioritize community health and well-being. Based on public health recommendations from lead agencies, and in an effort to safeguard public health and slow the rate of transmission of novel coronavirus, the City of West Hollywood is immediately implementing a series of immediate actions. During the coming weeks, following the direction of public health officials, the City may revise plans, as appropriate.
The City of West Hollywood is implementing the following actions through June 30, 2020:
- All non-essential events and meetings, including City-sponsored events, City co-sponsored events, and City-funded events -- as well as any events or filming that require a permit -- will be postponed or cancelled;
- The City encourages postponement or cancellations for private gatherings that cannot accommodate space for social distancing of at least six feet per person;
- The City encourages businesses in the community to develop plans to limit occupancy in order to encourage social distancing mindful of public health recommendations;
- Gatherings of individuals who are at risk for severe illness from novel coronavirus, such as seniors and people with immunodeficiency or autoimmune disorders, should be limited to no more than 10 people (examples include people at senior centers, assisted living facilities, multi-unit housing buildings, and support groups for people with underlying medical conditions);
- All public meetings, including Advisory Board and Commission meetings, will be cancelled unless the City determines there are essential business items to be discussed; the City Council meeting calendar is currently being reviewed and updates will be posted at weho.org;
- Cancellations include the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market; and
- Christopher Street West will postpone all events related to LA Pride in West Hollywood, which had been scheduled in June 2020, and organizers will assess.
The City of West Hollywood is immediately implementing the following actions regarding recreation programs for a one-week period through March 19, 2020 and the City will assess public health guidance during this period in order to extend cancellations, if necessary, in order to safeguard public health:
- The West Hollywood Aquatic Center/Pool and all current Recreation programs and classes are cancelled immediately for a one-week period; and
- Childcare programs will remain open, but are subject to change based upon public health direction.
The City of West Hollywood is in the process of updating its calendar of events and meetings and updates will be available at www.weho.org/calendar.
“Public safety is job number one and the City of West Hollywood is taking great care to assist our partners in public health to the fullest extent possible,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “Right now, our focus is doing our part to flatten the curve of the disease progression by focusing on essential City business functions and cancelling events under the City’s purview. Social distancing has been proven effective in other regions and we are following best practices to slow down the spread of this virus so our healthcare system does not become overwhelmed at this time. Please remain calm and take care of yourselves and each other. Follow the guidance from L.A. County Public Health and the CDC. Our community navigated the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and we will get through this if we follow guidelines – and, please, let’s do this the WeHo way with kindness and empathy.”
The City of West Hollywood’s decision to cancel and postpone events and meetings is a precautionary measure in response to public health recommendations for social distancing. The timely implementation of aggressive strategies that create social distance and those that reduce close contact of people not regularly together, including limiting gatherings, has proven effective in prior pandemics at delaying rates of transmission and reducing illness and death. In a recent statement, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Ed. said: “With the discovery of community spread yesterday, we will continue to see more cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County. With more cases, we are urging people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and the elderly to practice social distancing by avoiding non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues.”
Public health experts note that local communities are the first step in working together in the United States and across the globe to slow the rate of transmission of novel coronavirus and that communities can do their part to “flatten the curve” to help contain the virus spread. That means taking precautions, even by people who are not sick or at high-risk. The epidemic curve, a statistical chart used to visualize when and at what speed new cases are reported, could be flattened, rather than being allowed to rise exponentially by employing tactics such as social distancing and cancelling of non-essential events and travel.
At this time, West Hollywood City Hall will remain open for business transactions with newly implemented protocols for sanitization. At City facilities, the schedule of sanitization and cleaning has been increased and additional hand-sanitizer stations and individual hand sanitizer bottles at service counters have been made available; disinfecting wipes are available on an as-needed basis. The City has also begun use of a disinfectant solution at all transit shelters and kiosks and in heavily trafficked locations in public rights of way.
The City of West Hollywood will post updates on its website at www.weho.org/coronavirus and the City encourages community members to follow @wehocity on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and turn on notifications for up-to-date information regarding details in the City of West Hollywood.
To view essential-business City meetings, tune in to WeHoTV at:
- Spectrum Channel 10 (in West Hollywood)
- AT&T U-verse Channel 99 (in Southern California)
- SmartTV Apps: AndroidTV; AppleTV; FireTV; and Roku
For updates and information about the current numbers of COVID-19 cases in the United States and in Los Angeles County, the spread of the virus, severity, treatments, precautions, and other important public health information in multiple languages, please visit websites for:
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, please contact the LA County Department of Public Health Chief Communications Officer, Carl A. Kemp, at (213) 240-8144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Public Information Officer, Sheri A. Lunn, at (323) 848-6391 or email@example.com.