- Mayor Eric Garcetti said some people have not been protesting safely
- He confirmed LA County health officials believe recent demonstrations have contributed to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the city
- Garcetti noted that some protesters have not been wearing masks or keeping a safe distance from others when gathering in mass
- The mayor previously said there was no evidence showing a link between protests and new cases
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has admitted recent protests and mass demonstrations have led to a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
Garcetti revealed during a press conference on Wednesday that LA County health officials believe some of the new COVID-19 cases may have come from large groups of people gathering at rallies.
‘I talked again with [Director of Public Health] Dr Barbara Ferrer about that this morning. She does think some of the spread did come from our protests,’ the mayor told reporters.
‘It’s not the act of protesting – that’s a great and American thing to do no matter what your opinion is… but protesting without maintaining physical distancing, without wearing your mask, without having sanitizer – we just have to be smart.’
Garcetti had been asked if there was a link between the new cases and protests after the city – and most parts of California – saw a sharp spike in infections in the last two weeks.
The mayor noted that it was likely some people were not being conscious of the health risks nor were they taking proper precautions while going out to protest.
‘Whether you’re at a protest or at your home, whether in your workplace or whether you’re out shopping, these rules don’t change,’ he added.
‘We do believe there is a connection, we don’t believe that everybody has been doing this safely and wherever you can, please stay at home.’
Garcetti’s comments came after he had said there was no evidence to support cases were emerging from protests during a press conference on Monday.