LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Monica Rodriguez have jointly announced the expansion of the city’s COVID-19 care kit initiative, which has already been distributing supplies in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
Rodriguez — who back in December described communities like Pacoima and Sylmar in her 7th District as an “epicenter” for the deadly spike in county pandemic COVID-19 cases — began distributing care kits in the Northeast Valley just before Christmas with the assistance of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
“The Northeast San Fernando Valley is ground zero for the pandemic,” Rodriguez said then. “Many in this community are essential workers who do not have the luxury or means to stay home or purchase items that protect them. Further adding to the risk, many of these households are multigenerational families living in crowded conditions. Firefighters witnessing these circumstances in response to COVID related calls in the area, now have a new resource to leave with families, giving them a fighting chance against the spread of COVID-19.”
On Monday, Jan. 18, Rodriguez pointed out that “in my district alone, in the communities of Pacoima and Sylmar, we’re seeing upwards of 30,000 cases active in the Northeast San Fernando Valley,” which is why they began issuing the kits.
Garcetti said Monday the initiative would now be expanded citywide, starting with multi-generational households in South Los Angeles and the Eastside of Los Angeles.
LAFD is again helping to distribute the kits, which contain masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and public health information.
“For families with a member who is working right now in essential jobs — whether that’s in a hospital, or providing food to us in a grocery store, whether it’s childcare — these multi-generational households they often live in are the most vulnerable to the spread, in fact, probably the place where we see the most spread,” Garcetti said.
Volunteer LA and the American Red Cross are also assisting the city in the expansion effort, according to Garcetti.
Rodriguez offered gratitude to the Red Cross and Volunteer LA, as well as to Garcetti for expanding the program “because we know it’s not just the Northeast San Fernando Valley where families are experiencing these difficulties.”
The Fire Department has primarily been distributing the kits while responding to households with COVID-19 patients. Garcetti said firefighters will be distributing the kits to homes when they pick someone up for medical transport, even if the patient doesn’t have COVID-19.
“That’s one of the best ways to stop that outbreak … by leaving behind disinfectant, hand sanitizer, masks and information that can empower families to make sure that they don’t become part of the spread and that they save the lives of their family members,’’ the mayor said.