Los Angeles to Shut Off Water, Power for Nonessential Businesses That Refuse to Close Amid Pandemic

March 25, 2020 Updated: March 25, 2020
FONT BFONT SText size

Los Angeles will shut off water and power to businesses deemed nonessential that decline to follow an order to close amid the CCP virus pandemic.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Los Angeles issued an order requiring people in the city to stay home unless they’re conducting essential activities, such as getting groceries or medicine, or caring for children or the elderly. The order also requires some businesses to close but some of those establishments have remained open, Eric Garcetti, mayor of the city of 4 million, said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“You know who you are. You need to stop it. If you don’t, we will shut you down,” he said, calling business owners defying the order “irresponsible and selfish.”

Garcetti said that the city’s prosecutors will probe complaints filed against businesses that are remaining open despite not fitting the definition of essential. He also announced a program called the “Safer at Home” Business Ambassadors program, which will deploy city workers and volunteers with the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team to businesses “with the emergency order with a goal of securing voluntary compliance,” according to the mayor’s office.

stores in california
Many shops stand shuttered on the Venice Beach boardwalk on March 23, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“These are folks that can get even greater adherence without the threat of the law,” Garcetti said. “The easiest way to avoid a visit by the city is to follow the rules.”

After initial warnings, workers can share information on businesses to the police. That might result in a referral to the district attorney’s office, and, potentially, misdemeanor charges. And the Department of Public Works will shut off power and water to the businesses.

“Believe me when I say nobody wants to be punitive at a time like this,” Garcetti said. “My ideal is 100 percent self-compliance, and we all hope for the same thing—we want fewer people to get sick and die, we want this crisis to end as soon as possible, and we want to be able to take care of the people that we love most dearly.”

“We can achieve those goals but only if we all do our part,” he added.

Garcetti’s office shared a webpage where residents can lodge complaints against businesses allegedly out of compliance with the order.

Los Angeles will see an increase in cases over the coming days, Garcetti asserted at the press conference. The county has 662 confirmed cases, as well as 11 deaths.

The press conference comes on the same day that Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that 1,700 inmates have been released several days after District Attorney Jackie Lacey told prosecutors to work to decrease the number of inmates in both jails and courthouses to try to slow the spread of the virus.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber