Los Angeles County officials have imposed COVID-19 restrictions before Thanksgiving and have warned residents that if the spread isn’t regulated faster, the county could impose a curfew and a three-week stay-at-home order.
Starting on Friday, the county will try to regulate the spread of COVID-19 by imposing restrictions at businesses and gatherings. Non-essential businesses that operate indoors will be limited to 25% capacity; outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries will operate at 50% outdoor capacity; card rooms, outdoor mini-golf, go-karts and batting cages will operate at 50% outdoor capacity; and personal care businesses will need to operate by appointment only. Services that require either the provider or the consumer to be mask-less will not be permitted.
Restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars and non-essential retailers will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Individuals will also face tighter impositions. Starting from Friday, a maximum of 15 people from a total of three different households will be allowed to assemble, officials said, and all gatherings must continue to be outdoors.
The intensified measures come just one day after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state is hitting the “emergency brake” on economic activity due to surging COVID-19 cases in several counties.
The county expects cases to continue to rise, and officials said they plan to further tighten impositions if necessary.
If the five-day average of COVID-19 cases hits 4,000 or more, or hospitalizations increase to more than 1,750 a day, the county will close all outdoor and indoor dining.
If the five-day average of COVID-19 cases hits 4,500 or more, or hospitalizations increase to more than 2,000 per day, the county will order a three-week “Safer at Home Order,” which will only allow essential workers and those seeking emergency services to leave their homes. The order would also necessitate a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., exempting only essential workers.
On Tuesday, LA county registered 2,301 fresh cases of COVID-19, pushing the county total to date past 344,500. There were 1,126 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in LA as of Tuesday. The weekly average of daily COVID-19 cases was 1,171 on November 1, and by November 14, it had more than doubled to 2,406, according to county data.
Dr Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said that LA County is at a critical phase to save lives and control the spread of COVID-19.