Los Angeles, California. – A The Los Angeles County coalition of unions called for a total nationwide shutdown in January as a measure to contain the “explosive and deadly spread” of coronavirus in the jurisdiction.
The request for the mass shutdown comes at a time when COVID-19 cases in the province are over 566,000, with an increase in hospital admissions already collapsing a large portion of medical centers and the death toll exceeding 8,500. of according to the count of County Health Department this Wednesday.
On the other hand, the state’s southern region already reports a 0% capacity in intensive care units and is Los Angeles County, the leader of the negative list with more cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
“Los Angeles health workers are reaching their breaking point. They are understaffed, overworked and inundated with patients fighting for their lives.”Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Health Workers, said in a statement. “You can’t allow COVID-19 to spread in the same way after the December holidays as it did after Thanksgiving.”
At the same time, Rosselli recognized that the total shutdown must be made with financial security so that Angelenos can stay at home.
The coalition, made up of more than a dozen community, labor and health worker groups, sent a letter to the County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday calling for a strict four-week ‘lockdown’, including curfews and closing of all non-essential companies.
In the request, the group asked that The closure includes “safety nets” for businesses and employees affected by the closures, including suspension of mortgage or rent payments, free meals, direct payments to employees to subsidize lost wages and withholding measures. workers for people made redundant during the crisis.
“We urge you to immediately apply for state and federal funds to give Los Angeles County a true lockdown, one that prioritizes the lives of everyone, especially essential employees and working families, over comfort and convenience. . ” , according to the group’s letter.
The unions and groups that signed the letter included United Teachers Los Angeles, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, AFSCME Local 3299, California Nurses Association, Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles, UNITE HERE Local 11, Students Deserve, and the Los Angeles Alliance for a new economy. According to the organizers, the groups represent tens of thousands of workers.
Los Angeles will not have ‘white’
Local authorities reported that the local health system is already on the alert for capacity, so the projections of increased infections and deaths will affect the need for medical attention and this would be the main reason why the request is not denied in the following days.
“We are experiencing an explosive and very deadly wave,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Health Department. “And it is urgent that everyone make every effort to slow the transmission and prevent additional suffering,” emphasized Ferrer, thanking the advent of vaccines and the work done by thousands of health workers to date. .
The Southern California region – which includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura – is covered by a state-imposed regional residency permit that prohibits the encounters of people from different homes, as well as the closure of non-essential establishments, but the authorities recognize that it is not being observed.
Ferrer, for his part, insisted that it is not the time to talk about “pandemic fatigue” as, according to the director, “the only tired are the health workers and the thousands of people who will no longer see their relatives.”
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