Open non-essential businesses could have utilities cut, says L.A. Mayor

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Non-essential businesses refusing to shut down will be served with misdemeanor charges, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday during his daily public briefing.

In addition to the charges, Garcetti announced that the Department of Water and Power is authorized to cut utilities services to businesses which remain open, despite the orders to close issued last week.

“Flattening the curve on new infections demand that we all do our part, and that’s the bottom line,” the mayor said.

According to Garcetti, eight businesses will have criminal charges levied against them for violations this week.

The coronavirus death toll grew by 11 in Los Angeles County, pushing the county’s total to 65, while 513 more cases were confirmed. Nine of the 11 new deaths reported Wednesday were people over the age of 65, while one was between 18 and 40 and one was between 41 and 65. Nine of the 11 people had underlying health conditions, according to Barbara Ferrer, head of the county Department of Public Health.

With 513 new cases, Los Angeles County had a total of 3,518 total COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday. Ferrer confirmed that five of those cases involved homeless people, a group that had been largely absent from the total until the past week. She said there are no reports of any deaths among the homeless.

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