Coronavirus Spurs WeHo to Cancel Public Meetings and City-Sponsored Events Through June 30

The coronavirus “fist bump,” a way to maintain “social distance” and avoid infection.

In response to the coronavirus, the City of West Hollywood has announced that it is cancelling all public meetings, including city advisory board and commission meetings through June 30, unless it determines there are essential business items to be discussed. And Christopher Street West, the non-profit that stages the annual LA Pride parade and festival, has announced that it will postpone all events associated with Pride, which was set to be celebrated June 12 through 14 in West Hollywood. That event, which would have been a celebration of Pride’s 50th anniversary, typically draws tens of thousands of people to West Hollywood. Christopher Street West hopes to reschedule the event later this year.

The City of West Hollywood also will postpone or cancel all events with more than 100 potential attendees that are funded, sponsored or co-sponsored by the city or that require a city permit. That will include the Helen Albert Farmer’s Market, which takes place at Plummer Park every Monday.

The city is reviewing the current calendar of meetings for the West Hollywood City Council (whose next meeting still is scheduled for Monday) and will post updates about that on its website.

The city said it 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.”

In addition to the steps noted above, the city’s announcement states:

  • 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);

The city is immediately implementing the following actions regarding recreation programs for a one-week period through March 19. In its announcement, the city says it 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.

 “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 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.”

In its announcement, City Hall says the 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 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’.”

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.

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 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.

Some essential city meetings can be viewed on WeHoTV, which can be accessed in multiple ways:

  • www.weho.org/wehotv
  • www.youtube.com/wehotv
  • Spectrum Channel 10 (in West Hollywood)
  • AT&T U-verse Channel 99 (in Southern California)
  • SmartTV Apps: AndroidTV; AppleTV; FireTV; and Roku

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James Francis
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James Francis

I agree the city only follows based on their own feedback but yet never uses reserve money in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars of general public funds! What about locals that are underinsured to get free testing, prescriptions filled or not even have money to go to doctors who might turn people away because West Hollywood only has doctors who charge high costs. Just look at how expensive it is to see private doctors who promote concierge medicine and private upscale medical facilities! Doctors only want to consult or be in upscale concierge medicine… Read more »

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

In my grandparents era, President Roosevelt have his memorable speech…..”the only thing we have to fear is fear itself……..”

It seems wise to return to that sensibility individually and collectively.

learntobeajournalist
Guest
learntobeajournalist

Every election year has a disease:
SARS-2004,AVIAN-2008,SWINE-2010, MERS-2012,
EBOLA-2014, ZIKA-2016, EBOLA-2018, CORONA-2020

Coronavirus has a contagion factor of 2. SARS was 4.
Measles is 18.

Coronavirus has a cure rate of 99% for those under 50 it infects. Coronavirus is leveling off.

This is a viral-pneumonia being hyped as The Black Plauge before an election.

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

It was a prudent move for the City & CSW to re-schedule Pride to later in the year when things may have sorted themselves out. The challenge is where do you draw the line between over reaction where you cause more pain via economic disruption or living in world of deniability and wishful thinking and letting the worse happen.

William Seegmiller
Guest

What can we do to help the poor and homeless? We are collectively only as safe as our most vulnerable. Worry most about the level of the flood, not the height of the ceiling.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Too little, too late Mr Mayor. The virus is already here. Where was the City weeks ago? How about spending some of the reserve money on 36,000 tests, plus tests for all City Employees and the homeless. Now that would be true leadership. There are many Seniors in Weho and many with compromised immune systems. They should be the first to be given the virus test.

Earl Eason
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Earl Eason

Duh. Do you read the news? Time magazine says “As of March 11, CDC, state and public health labs have conducted more than 11,000 tests since mid-January. By comparison, South Korea has tested more than 200,000 of its population of 51 million since January.” The United States doesn’t have enough tests. So how the hell would West Hollywood do 36,000 of them if this country hasn’t been able to do a little more than 11,000 nationwide?

Weho Adjacent
Guest
Weho Adjacent

There are no tests to buy. It isn’t up to the mayor at this point-it’s higher ups like the CDC, governor and federal govt.

Eric Jon schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon schmidt

The City should have advised us about the virus earlier and cancelled events earlier. What is the point of having a department of public safety if the City won’t keep us safe?

Randy
Guest
Randy

Eric, please. This is an international health crisis. It’s covered by the news, non-stop, and our state is taking measures. As well as the county. This cannot be another thing you’re going to blame the city for. They are following a directive issued by Governor Newsom. Just like every local community in California should be. and no, there were no tests available.

Not every single thing is the fault of the City Council of West Hollywood.

Eric Jon schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon schmidt

The City should have passed information to the residents two weeks ago. They are not restricted by State, County or Federal government to inform its residents of a virus. If West Hollywood is the progressive City, then they should not wait to see what others are doing and then follow. They should lead. Many Cities around the Country did so without State orders. The City of West Hollywood dropped the ball on this one and as a result many of our Residents may be infected. It’s a matter of leadership. Maybe it was my time in the Army trained to… Read more »

Earl Eason
Guest
Earl Eason

Eric, you are so smart! Even though the federal government and the World Health Organization didn’t make definitive statements about the impact of the coronavirus on California two weeks ago, city officials could have engaged psychics to read the minds of those officials and then take action. I take it that you are a psychic? You should open a salon in West Hollywood and start reading palms! (Just don’t touch them!)

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Have folks taken complete leave other senses? Instead of crying victim and fielding blame, what has become of common sense and personal responsibility about their own health affairs? It is astonishing how rapidly fear infects people and fear has no timely test, remedy or inoculation other than scrupulous vigilance.