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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said this week that “snitches” in his city will get “rewards” if they tattle on neighbors who could be violating the stay-at-home order put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Garcetti last month implemented the “Safer at Home” order, like many cities and states across the nation, closing non-essential businesses and urging people to stay at home.


“If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance,” Garcetti said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The mayor’s office said that city officials, with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, had visited more than 500 businesses that had not complied with his order. His office said four businesses have already been referred for misdemeanor filings.

“You know the old expression about snitches,” Garcetti said this week. “Well, in this case, snitches get rewards.”

He added: “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe,” he said.

“Your decision to stay home may mean that there’s one less person who needs a ventilator we do not have,” Garcetti added.

As of Friday morning, California had the third-highest number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the country, behind New Jersey and New York—which has become the epicenter of the virus in the U.S.

California reported more than 11,100 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 240 deaths.