Garcetti: LA will use hotels, theaters and sports venues to house COVID-19 patients

“Look, anyplace is on the table,” Garcetti said, adding that the city’s stay-at-home order could last “at least until May.”

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 26, 2020 07:40 AM
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking for large spaces to house COVID-19 patients (Credit: Emily Shur/Wikipedia and Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking for large spaces to house COVID-19 patients (Credit: Emily Shur/Wikipedia and Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city will use all kinds of real estate assets to house coronavirus patients – the LA Convention Center, hotels, movie theaters and sports venues.

The mayor also warned that the city’s stay-at-home order could last until at least May.

“Look, anyplace is on the table,” Garcetti said in a Wednesday evening press briefing. That includes “hotels and motels who need our help badly right now.”

Garcetti acknowledged that initially some hotel operators said “we don’t know if we want to take patients.” But he told reporters that “now many of them have now said, ‘absolutely we would take patients. People who need isolation. Folks who are not deeply symptomatic.’”

He said some hotel operators have also agreed to allow medical personnel to set up spaces where they could “monitor folks who have some symptoms but there isn’t a hospital emergency bed available for them.”

Garcetti said the convention center would be a “great space” and the city has also looked at various sports venues and has talked with a number of the city’s sports teams.

“We will use whatever spaces and places,” Garcetti said. “There are also theaters that are available. Soundstages. We’ve had some folks from studios reach out.”

Garcetti said studio soundstages could be ideal for housing patients because they “have their own ventilation.”

“You can hang things that are industrial from them that could be used for medical equipment. So we’re looking at all those.”

Los Angeles County is currently pursuing a plan to use the Sheraton Fairplex hotel in Pomona for coronavirus patients, which numbered 812 in Los Angeles County as of Wednesday.

Congresswoman Norma Torres has put the brakes on that idea, however, because the hotel is not a “lockdown facility” for people with the virus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this month the state has identified 950 hotels to provide quarantined shelter for homeless people. That proposal, however, has been met with skepticism.


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