New Los Angeles County Stay-At-Home Restrictions Kick In Monday As Daily Covid-19 Cases Top 4,500 For A Fifth Day

Rising coronavirus cases have led Los Angeles County public health officials to issue yet another round of “stay-at-home” orders. Starting Monday, certain public and private gatherings are prohibited, a decree lasting until Dec. 20.

The new mandate prohibits all public and private gatherings of people outside a single household, except for church and public protests. The orders come as coronavirus cases are exponentially climbing in Los Angeles and across the nation.

Officials reported that 4,544 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed today, leading to the enhanced round of safety measures beginning Monday that will last until Christmas week.

As of today, L.A. County’s five-day average of new cases is 4,751. Authorities had said that if the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more, a “targeted safer at home order” would be issued for three weeks that would place additional restrictions on non-essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.

Here are details about the stricter limits on L.A. County residents that will begin Monday as a result of a fifth consecutive day of 4,500 or more new cases of Covid-19:

  • Gatherings: all public and private gatherings with individuals not
    in your household are prohibited, except for church services and protests,
    which are constitutionally protected rights.

  • Occupancy limits at various businesses; all individuals at these
    sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance:

  • Essential retail: 35% maximum occupancy;

  • Nonessential retail (includes indoor malls): 20% maximum occupancy;

  • Personal care services: 20% maximum occupancy;

  • Libraries: 20% maximum occupancy;

  • Fitness centers operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy;

  • Museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy;

  • Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors: 50%
    maximum occupancy;

  • Outdoor recreation activities all which require face coverings (except for swimming) and distancing: Beaches, trails and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited.

  • Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane. Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.

  • Schools: All schools and day camps remain open adhering to reopening protocols. K-12 Schools and Day Camps with an outbreak (3 cases or more over 14 days) should close for 14 days.

  • Closed nonessential businesses/activities:

  • Playgrounds (with the exception of playgrounds at childcare and schools;

  • Cardrooms;

  • Restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries remain closed for in-person dining and drinking because of the high rates of transmission in the community, as customers are not wearing face coverings, which results in an increased chance of transmission of the virus. Restaurants, wineries and breweries remain open for pick-up, delivery and take-out. Breweries and wineries remain open for retail sales at 20% occupancy.

“These targeted measures are in effect for the next three weeks and still allow for many essential and nonessential activities where residents are always masked and distanced,” L.A. County Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said today. “We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread.”

According to official estimates, every COVID-19 patient in Los Angeles County is passing the virus to an average of 1.27 people — the highest transmission rate the county has seen since the outbreak took hold in March, before any safety protocols such as face coverings and social distancing were in place. Based on that transmission rate, health officials estimate one of every 145 people in the county now is infected with the virus and transmitting it to others.

“Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge,” Ferrer added. “Please remain home as much as possible and do not gather with others not in your household for the next three weeks.”

Meanwhile, county officials also said today that 1,893 people with the coronavirus are hospitalized in the county, with nearly a quarter of them in intensive care wards. Just one month ago, 747 people hospitalized with Covid in Los Angeles County — an increase of 253%.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti noted the alarming trend in a tweet today:

City News Service contributed to this report.

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