Grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurant take-out service remain active

By Joe Piasecki and Gary Walker

Almost Everything’s Cancelled

Los Angeles County and the cities of L.A. and Santa Monica have ordered the closure of all bars, gyms and theaters, with restaurants directed to offer delivery and takeout service only. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for similar restrictions throughout the state.

Many grocery stores have announced limited service hours, typically from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., to allow for restocking and additional cleaning. Gelson’s Market in Marina del Rey opens early from 7 to 8 a.m. for senior citizens (65 and over) only.

L.A. County Supervisors followed the lead of Santa Monica and L.A. city leaders in banning no-fault residential and commercial evictions through May 31, with tenants losing work due to the coronavirus or related business closures having six months after the emergency proclamation to make up back rent payments, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The SBA is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans to provide small businesses with working capital during the coronavirus crisis. Business owners impacted by coronavirus can call (800) 659-2955 or visit

The Red Cross is reporting a decline in blood donations, with as many as 160 blood drives cancelled recently, according to the L.A. Times. Healthy people are encouraged to donate blood.

On Tuesday, Newsom said he expects public school closures throughout California will likely extend into June.

New Reports of COVID-19 Infections

Public health officials announced 50 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County on Tuesday evening, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 144 as of press time. These include at least one case in Brentwood, two in Culver City, one in Inglewood, four in Manhattan Beach, one in Mar Vista, one in Santa Monica, two in Venice, and two in Westchester. In most new cases the sources of infection remain under investigation.

A patrol supervisor with LAPD’s Pacific Division tested positive for coronavirus, Capt. Steven Embrich confirmed Monday. LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted that the supervisor “exhibited flu-like symptoms around March 5” and left work. Pacific Division’s Twitter account reported Monday that his condition “is steadily improving” and “he is expected to make a full recovery.” The police station on Culver Boulevard was cleaned with disinfectant over the weekend.

An employee at Hulu’s offices in Santa Monica tested positive for COVID-19, Variety reported Monday. Workers at the Water Garden and nearby Universal Music also tested positive, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. Last week an employee of the Apple Store on Third Street Promenade was diagnosed with coronavirus. An Apple employee based in the company’s Culver City office tested positive for the virus, the company announced Monday.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is warning that any offers for in-home COVID-19 tests are scams.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Amidst all the panic shopping and food hoarding, a number of Westside residents were busy offering to help gather supplies for neighbors who are at high risk of infection or unable to venture out. Members of the Playa del Rey Community group on Facebook rallied around a new mom in need of baby formula. A man named Joe taped notes to apartment doors on Kinston Avenue in Culver City, offering free delivery services “in loving memory of my amazing Gran.” Kasia Molenda of Playa del Rey posted notes on light poles and social media. No one’s taken her up on it yet, but she hopes “it inspires other people to check in on their neighbors too.”

To thank a helpful neighbor in The Argonaut, email

The Del Rey Neighborhood Council stands ready to assist elderly and at-risk constituents over the next several weeks and can be contacted via, DRNC President Matt Wersinger said. Members of the council are in touch with LAUSD about the possibility of establishing a neighborhood resource center, he added.

School Districts Open Meal Centers

Restrictions against gatherings of 50 or more people have forced LAUSD to cancel plans to re-open some campuses as resource centers for families lacking meal and childcare options. The district has instead activated some 60 campuses as Grab & Go Food Centers, where students can pick up and take home two free meals between 7 and 10 a.m. on weekdays.

A map of Grab & Go Food Centers on LAUSD’s website includes Marina del Rey Middle School (12500 Braddock Drive), Palms Middle School (10860 Woodbine St.) and University High School (11800 Texas Ave.).

Culver City Unified is making meals available at the Culver City High School cafeteria from 10:30 a.m. to noon today and Friday.

Any student enrolled in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District can pick up free breakfast and lunch at Santa Monica High School, McKinley Elementary, Webster Elementary or Will Rogers Learning Community between 7 and 9 a.m. on weekdays.

Hygiene Stations for the Homeless

Mobile restrooms and hand-washing basins are now stationed at the large homeless encampments under the 405 Freeway on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista and around Third and Rose avenues in Venice, according to Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin. A mobile shower trailer is scheduled to visit Third and Rose on Tuesdays and the freeway underpass on Fridays, with the nonprofit Five Keys assisting with daily cleanups.

At Bonin’s direction, the city has installed about 40 hand-washing stations in and around smaller area homeless encampments in L.A. neighborhoods west of
the 405.