COVID-19 Myths vs. Facts: Setting The Record Straight

Accurate information is key to making decisions that protect you, your family, and your community during this public health crisis. If you learn something brand new from a friend, social media, or elsewhere, you should always check its accuracy against a trusted source, like the  L.A. County Department of Public Health or the CDC.

Mayor Garcetti's office listed the following rumors and myths and sets the record straight with what you really need to know: 

Myth: The National Guard is enforcing martial law in Los Angeles.

This is falseThe National Guard has not been mobilized in Los Angeles. Military vehicles you may have seen in Los Angeles in recent weeks have been engaged in routine movements to support local humanitarian efforts across California.

The National Guard has worked with CAL FIRE and the City of Los Angeles to stand up and build out a medical relief center in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the City has requested the National Guard’s support at some of its testing sites.

If the National Guard or military units are deployed to the streets of Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti will notify Angelenos.

Myth: I am prohibited from leaving my community while the Safer at Home order in effect.

This is false. Law enforcement in Los Angeles is not tracking or enforcing the movements of city residents. That said, public data shows that Angelenos have significantly reduced their travel since the Safer at Home order came into effect –– a positive sign in our fight to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. All Angelenos are encouraged to stay at home except to take care of essential needs and activities. 

Myth: I will be arrested for going outside.

This is false. Under the Safer at Home order, residents of the City of Los Angeles are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, remember to stay at least six feet away from others. You can leave your home to go to the grocery store, visit the pharmacy to pick up medications and healthcare necessities, take a walk or exercise while adhering to physical distancing guidelines, and engage in other essential activities exempted by the order. You are required to wear a face covering when you go to a grocery store or other essential business.

Myth: LAPD is actively issuing fines and citations to people not wearing face coverings.

This is false. The L.A. County Department of Public Health recommends that you wear a face covering when you are interacting with others to help to contain your respiratory droplets. And under the Worker Protection order, non-medical essential businesses are allowed to refuse service to customers who do not wear face coverings.

The City of Los Angeles is working to help make face coverings more accessible to people who need them. You can find links to local manufacturers selling face coverings at the L.A. Protects website.

Please note that a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 — most importantly, staying home and practicing safe physical distancing.

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