Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN he doesn’t see large gatherings like concerts or sporting events returning to Los Angeles until 2021.
“It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon, so I think we should be prepared for that this year,” he said.
“I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly. But until there’s either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention or herd immunity, the science is the science. And public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments.”
During his daily update on April 15, Garcetti was less specific. He said one of the biggest tragedies is not knowing when the public can gather again—be back in a classroom, catch a game at Dodger Stadium or the Staples Center.
“There’s no one who wants to see an NBA championship or a World Series winner than me,” Garcetti said. “Getting back to medium and large gatherings will be slow.”
On April 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom along with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a regional partnership to coordinate the reopening of the West Coast. But Garcetti doesn’t know when that might be.
“While we don’t know what that date will be, the more we do now, the sooner those dates will come,” Garcetti said.
There are five pillars to “reopening Los Angeles”—widespread testing, real-time surveillance to detect new outbreaks, an aggressive response to new cases, an appropriate capacity of hospital rooms, and ongoing research and development.
“Some of the worst days of this crisis are still ahead,” Garcetti said. “With swift action, I hope we are flattening the curve.”