WEST HOLLYWOOD—On Monday, May 18, the City of West Hollywood announced that Paul Arevalo, the City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, had issued a third Emergency Executive Order.
The new order, focused on ‘Implementing Emergency Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19,’ was signed on Thursday, May 14.
Every directive in the order is effective immediately, except for one which will only be active from Saturday, May 23 onward: anyone outdoors must wear face coverings. According to the City, examples of such coverings include scarves, bandanas, and neck gaiters. The only exception to this rule is in the event the person is under two years of age, has breathing difficulties, or needs assistance removing face coverings.
Construction noise is prohibited from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., but an extended hours permit can override this directive. Any projects that the city classified as “essential” on April 6, 2020 are exempt as well.
The City of West Hollywood is unable to carry out the typical procedure of opening cooling centers for seniors during “periods of extreme heat.” To compensate for this change, the new order indicates that 75 fans have been purchased and will be delivered to “senior citizens who request access to a cooling center.” Only seniors are eligible to receive the service as they are “more susceptible to COVID-19, more susceptible to heat stroke and heat-related illnesses and may no longer drive or have access to a vehicle to cool in the air conditioning of a vehicle.”
Annual Parking Credits payments for this year, which were originally due in July, have been prorated and deferred until September 2020. Businesses are only required to pay for nine months of credits. Additionally, hotels may submit a written request – during the local emergency period – to the City Manager to defer remittance of the monthly Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for up to 30 days.
Five streets will be temporarily closed to traffic for a ‘Slow Streets’ program, which creates open space for residents to remain outside while social distancing. The closed streets are:
- Sherwood Drive between Huntley Drive and West Knoll Drive (3 blocks)
- Hancock Avenue between Holloway Drive and West Knoll Drive (1 block)
- Gardner Street between Romaine Street and Willoughby Avenue (1 block)
- Lexington Avenue between Gardner Street and Vista Street (1 block)
- Cynthia Street between Wetherly Drive and Hilldale Avenue (2 blocks)
The list above may be altered in response to feedback from officials and local residents.
“The City of West Hollywood is continuing to respond to needs as issues arise from this unprecedented pandemic,” said Mayor John D’Amico. “As some restrictions are gradually changing at the state and county level, it is vital, now more than ever, that we all do our part to help protect ourselves. In West Hollywood, we will protect one another by requiring we wear face coverings every time we leave the house.”
“They call this a novel coronavirus’ because it is new, something we haven’t seen before. Some people may be asymptomatic and may be unaware that they can spread the virus to others. There is no vaccine and there are few treatment options for people who get very sick from COVID-19,” continued D’Amico. “We’re all learning how to fight this disease and we know that prevention is the best medicine. Let’s listen to our medical experts and abide by wearing face coverings when we’re in public. When we look out for one another, we are truly stronger together, WeHo.”