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San Pedro Fish Market had to switch to take-out and delivery only during the “Safer at Home” emergency order. (Click to enlarge.) (photo: Angela Romero, San Pedro Heritage Museum)

Our country is facing the biggest crisis since World War II. The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to exponentially rise, which is why we must continue to act as if lives depend upon it — because they do.

Everyone should take extreme measures to limit their contact with others, especially our seniors, who are very vulnerable to this virus. As we’ve recently learned, four out of five people infected by COVID-19 were infected by people who did not know they had it.

Use this standard: Everyone should act as if you have been infected.

These are dire and scary times for everyone. But I want to reassure you that the city, state, and federal government continue to work on ways to alleviate the financial burdens this crisis has and will continue to cause. 

In the meantime, we must stay home, and if we have to go out, please stay six feet away from others. 

On Sunday, March 15, Governor Newsom advised that all seniors and those with pre-existing medical conditions should self-isolate. In light of this directive, the city is ramping up its services to our seniors. Grocery stores continue to be open and will be consistently restocked. 

And while all senior centers are closed, meal service continues. L.A. City Senior Centers are rapidly working to ensure that our seniors are able to pick up more than one meal per day.

The San Pedro Service Center is one of your local senior service centers located at 769 W. 3rd St. in San Pedro, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call ahead before you visit at (310) 519-6091. 

Anderson Senior Center continues to give take-out meals every day at 11 a.m. Please knock on the door to be handed your meal. They are located at 828 S. Mesa St. and can be reached at (310) 548-7596. 

If you do not live in San Pedro, call (213) 482-7252 to find the nearest center to you and learn about the other programs available. 

The city is also taking bold action to move homeless people off the street to prevent the spread of coronavirus in encampments. I support Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to shelter 6,000 homeless people in the city within the next three weeks at 42 Recreation and Parks facilities.

Our nation is at war. We are at war with a disease, and it’s going to change our way of life for a while. While many citizens are still wrapping their heads around the gravity of the situation, it is up to us to act urgently to create new systems for our new world. 

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, our healthcare infrastructure will quickly approach a complete and total breakdown. This is why I support engaging United States military assets to build temporary hospitals and expand our healthcare workforce. 

Our healthcare workers are our soldiers in this war against a pandemic. May God bless all of them on the front lines.

We are in a real state of emergency. Now is the time to act. Please look out for your neighbors and continue to social distance as much as possible. 

Here is some more important information:

• Everyone should sign up for Notify L.A. Emergency Alerts from the City of Los Angeles. Text your zip code to 888777 to opt-in or sign-up online at emergency.lacity.org/notifyla. 

• Follow @LAPublicHealth, @MayorofLA, @ReadyLA, and
@LACounty on Twitter for the latest updates or visit their websites. 

L.A. County Public Health continues to provide daily updates on the coronavirus. Their website is publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/ or call 211 for more information. 

• Parents and caregivers should visit lausd.net for the latest updates. They are operating the following hotlines for families: (213) 443-1300 and for employees: (213) 241-2700. The hotline is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Grab & Go Food Centers are open and will be staffed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. San Pedro’s location is Dana Middle School at 1501 S. Cabrillo Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731. 

Small business resources and relief are rapidly coming online and will continue to do so from the city, state and federal government. 

Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans are now being processed. The application link is now open for any California business wishing to apply for a disaster loan related to economic damage from the COVID-19 health crisis. Please visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela for more information. 

• Council District 15 economic development consultant World-Bridge Consultants’ services are FREE for small businesses during these challenging times and will be assisting with the processing of SBA loans. Visit their website to complete the contact submission to schedule an appointment. Visit worldbridgela.com. 

• L.A. City has launched a Small Business Microloan Program with loan limits of $5,000 to $20,000. Since cash flow is critical at this unprecedented time, the program will offer relaxed underwriting with no credit score minimum, a generous allowance to meet debt service, and a 100% loan to value ratio. The interest rate can either be 0% for a term of six months to one year or 3% to 5% for a term of up to five years. Visit lamayor.org/loan for more information. 

• You can reach my team via email and our staff directory is available here: la15th.com/team_buscaino. My Harbor office phone number is (310) 732-4515. spt

Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles City Councilman

Joe Buscaino is currently serving on the Los Angeles City Council for the 15th district.

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