WeHo Sheriffs Officers Had to Enforce COVID-19 Park Closures Over the Weekend

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

WeHo Sheriffs were called to the scene at West Hollywood park numerous times this past weekend to clear the park of community members who ignored the City’s Emergency Executive Order to close all parks and dog parks in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Park goers were seen walking past the flashing traffic sign alerting the public that the “Park is closed. Please stay home.” People were seen walking their dogs, going for a stroll and families were sprawled out on the lawn on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Only a few were wearing face coverings.

“The park is closed, but you would never know it from looking at it,” a City traffic controller told WEHO TIMES. “Even the homeless people know to stay away because the park is closed.”

He called WeHo Sheriffs officers to assist him in clearing the park. He said this wasn’t the first time he had to call police officers to remind the public that the City of West Hollywood is abiding by the Los Angeles County Public Health Safer at Home Order during the COVID pandemic.

West Hollywood Park Closed – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

Two police officers slid their N-95 masks over their faces when they approached individuals to ask them to vacate the park. The officers stuck around until the park was empty. No citations were distributed at the time.

Paul Arevalo, the City of West Hollywood City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, issued an Emergency Executive Order on Thursday, April 9, implementing emergency measures to prevent the Spread of COVID-19. All City parks and dog parks are closed to the public for the duration of the City’s declaration of local emergency. Construction sites in the City of West Hollywood must also follow additional requirements for hygiene, sanitization, signage, face covering, and more, as part of the Order.

The Emergency Executive Order was issued in response to numerous public complaints and City staff-witnessed failures to socially distance at parks and construction sites in direct contradiction to Federal, State, County, and City directives to physically distance, not gather in groups, and stay home except for essential needs in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

All parks in the City of West Hollywood will be closed to the public.

Full text of the new Emergency Executive Order is available (PDF) at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=44233.

Full text of the Resolution proclaiming a Local Emergency is available (PDF) at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=44141.

The City of West Hollywood has declared a local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and is advising community members to adhere to Los Angeles County Safer at Home and California State Stay at Home orders. The City urges everyone to stay in place, maintain your space, and cover your face. Leave home only for essential needs; always use social distancing of at least six feet; and follow guidelines to use cloth face coverings such as bandanas or scarves so that medical masks, which are in short supply, are prioritized for health professionals.

West Hollywood City Hall remains closed to the public and has suspended all in-person transactions. All public City buildings, playgrounds, and facilities are closed. City Hall is accessible for business and essential services with transactions to be conducted by phone (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org.

The City of West Hollywood coronavirus updates are available at www.weho.org/coronavirus and the City encourages community members to follow @wehocity on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and turn on notifications for up-to-date information regarding details in the City of West Hollywood.

To view essential-business City meetings, tune in to WeHoTV at:

www.weho.org/wehotv
www.youtube.com/wehotv
Spectrum Channel 10 (in West Hollywood)
AT&T U-verse Channel 99 (in Southern California)
SmartTV Apps: AndroidTV; AppleTV; FireTV; and Roku
For notifications by email, subscribe to the City’s E-Notifications at www.weho.org/email. Visit the City’s event and meetings calendar at www.weho.org/calendar and news archive at www.weho.org/news. To receive urgent updates to your phone by text and to your email, text your ZIP code to 888-777.

For updates and information about the current numbers of COVID-19 cases in the United States and in Los Angeles County, the spread of the virus, severity, treatments, precautions, and other important public health information in multiple languages, please visit websites for:

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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