The Los Angeles Police Department has ordered all officers to wear face masks while out in public, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced the new rule Thursday evening on Twitter.
“Effective today, you may see your local LAPD officers wearing either surgical masks or non-medical face coverings while in public,” Moore tweeted. “This is for our safety, and for your safety. Coupled with safe social distancing, we will continue to protect and serve through this crisis.”
Effective today, you may see your local LAPD officers wearing either surgical masks or non-medical face coverings while in public. This is for our safety, and for your safety. Coupled with safe social distancing, we will continue to protect and serve through this crisis. pic.twitter.com/QL0QMyIPyL
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) April 3, 2020
The decision was announced after the department said 35 employees tested positive for coronavirus.
A day earlier, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti urged everyone in the city to start wearing protective face coverings in public.
“I know it will look surreal. We don’t have that kind of cultural tradition of wearing masks… We’re going to have to get used to seeing each other like this,” Garcetti said Wednesday during his daily coronavirus briefing. “To be clear, you should still stay at home. This isn’t an excuse to suddenly all go out.”
To prevent a run on surgical masks — which are in short supply for first responders and medical workers — Garcetti said residents should use cloth masks or even a scarf.
He noted that hundreds of apparel manufacturers have agreed to make 2 million cloth masks per week for essential workers, such as grocery store employees. The manufacturers signed up through the city’s LA Protects manufacturing initiative website that Garcetti announced last week.
As of April 2, a total of 4,045 people in Los Angeles County, including the city of L.A., have tested positive for COVID-19 and 78 deaths have been reported, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.