Confirmed COVID-19 cases at Santa Monica Apple, Universal Music businesses
By Sam Catanzaro
Friday night the City of Santa Monica issued a local emergency proclamation as two major companies have confirmed COVID-19 cases among their Santa Monica employees and public health officials are urging social distancing.
On Friday, President Trump issued a national emergency declaration announcing that $50 billion in emergency funding would be made available to assist state and local governments in preventing the spread of and addressing the effects of COVID-19. According to City Manager Rick Cole, Santa Monica’s emergency declaration will help the City receive federal and state dollars for COVID-19 response.
“This proclamation is a necessary step in the City’s efforts to align with state Emergency Management, to access state and federal resources, and to partner with our neighboring cities for the public health,” Cole said.
According to the City, local emergencies can be declared by the City Manager, with ratification by the City Council within seven days. The local emergency is now in effect and will be confirmed by the City Council before March 20, 2020.
As of Friday, there are 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. One of the cases is an employee of the Third Street Promenade Apple store in Santa Monica. Apple has closed all U.S. stores through at least March 27.
In addition, on Friday Universal Music Group emptied its Santa Monica offices following an employee being diagnosed with coronavirus, according to Variety magazine.
County health officials are saying social distancing is the best and most effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Of the 40 cases, six are likely due to community transmission, county health officials say.
“Continued evidence of community transmission in LA County is growing. We are all in this together and we must all do our part to slow the spread,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Public Health Director.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) schools will close from at least Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20.