LA home residence rules are taking shape as the COVID-19 spike deteriorates

Coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths have risen at an alarming rate, with Los Angeles County officials on Tuesday beginning to outline a new, limited order of Safer at Home aimed at slowing the spread of the virus while insisting on an outdoor eating ban amid growing outrage.

New restrictions seem increasingly likely as daily coronavirus infections rise to unprecedented levels, causing increasing stress on hospitals to infect more people during the Thanksgiving holiday. But it also appears that the new home-stay arrangement proposed as an option last week falls far short of what was ordered in the first months of the spring epidemic.

The March order closed all businesses except core businesses and left many people at home except for trips to places like supermarkets and the doctor’s office. But officials suggested on Tuesday that the new rules could remain open to many businesses, but with limited customer capacity.

“We don’t close everything completely,” said Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Superintendent.

“Irrelevant businesses will be very open; the gym will be open outdoors; the zoos will be open; hair salons; the mini golf and go-kart will be open with reduced capacity, ”said supervisor Janice Hahn.

Each of the proposed guidelines is designed to keep people in their homes as much as possible, reduce capacity in places where people from different households interact with each other, and limit some non-essential activities.

They include:

  • All gatherings are prohibited among people who do not live in the same household, except for outdoor church services and outdoor protests. Currently, smaller gatherings are allowed outdoors, but up to 15 people are allowed, up to three households are allowed.
  • Reducing the utilization of basic retail stores to 35% of capacity; for grocery stores, this would be a reduction of the current 50% ceiling.
  • Reducing the capacity of non-core retail stores and libraries to 20%; they are currently able to retain 25% of capacity.
  • Ordered closure of playgrounds that are not part of a school or childcare facility; swimming pools serving members of more than one household, although regulated cruising may continue; and card rooms.

Beaches, trails and parks would remain open, as would outdoor venues such as golf courses, tennis courts, skating parks and communal gardens.

Childcare and daycare, schools and daycare camps opened under current protocols can remain open under current rules, with a new requirement: a 14-day closure in the event of an outbreak, which is three or more cases over a specified two-week period.

Ongoing activities include professional sports without spectators and outdoor youth sports for conditioning and skill development only; the continuation of competitions and competitions is not permitted.

And the county must continue to adhere to the state’s limited night-time home stay policy, which requires non-essential activities with members of other households outside the home to be completed between 10pm and 5pm.

Just a week ago, county officials raised the possibility of staying in a new home, which they say would usually only allow their home to basic workers and people providing basic services.

But since then, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says there is no need for a comprehensive shutdown because the county has more tools to treat COVID-19 compared to the spring, when they knew less about the disease. “We have a lot more capacity to test, which allows us to do a better job of quickly identifying positive people,” Ferrer said.

“We learned a few things last time,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, LA County Health Officer. “There are certain things that weren’t in our place in terms of universal facial coverage.”

Officials did not detail the timing of the new order. But conditions have steadily deteriorated. An additional 45 deaths were reported in LA County on Tuesday, the highest one-day since early September. The deaths of LA county residents were reported at three times the daily rate on November 3rd.

Hospital care also rose rapidly, with nearly 1,700 people staying at COVID-19 Hospital on Tuesday, up from nearly 800 on 23 October. Officials warned that if county residents do not change their widespread behavior, existing staffing in hospital beds will soon be depleted.

While LA County has been hit particularly hard, the state as a whole is struggling with an avalanche of coronavirus cases, and officials expect daily deaths to be even worse than the summer peak.

“Of course, the number of deaths is likely to increase. As we transcend the highest number of cases to date and begin to see our COVID-pressed hospital systems beyond where they were once squeezed, there is also the idea that the number of deaths could exceed where we used to be real and true, ”he said. on Tuesday, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The state registered 20,654 cases on Monday, breaking a previous one-day record of 13,412 infections, a Times survey of independent California counties found. In LA County, nearly 6,200 cases were recorded on Monday, which was also a daily record, and more than 3,700 cases on Tuesday.

“We’re really in the middle of a surge here in California,” Ghaly said.

Across the country, the daily average of seven cases of new coronavirus over a seven-day period has more than doubled in the past two weeks, a Times analysis found. Most counties in California also reported the same double or worse situation.

In the imperial county, the daily average of coronavirus cases has almost quadrupled in the last two weeks. This county was forced to set up a 50-bed tent to help treat surges in COVID-19 patients and asked for a dozen additional health workers, including 33 intensive care nurses, three laboratory scientists, 21 emergency nurses and six respiratory nurses. therapists, officials said last week.

In the Imperial County, the coronavirus test positivity rate doubled in one month, from 10.5% to 23.8%.

Between Nov. 1 and Monday, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country doubled, Ghaly said, from about 2,500 to more than 5,800. Intensive care units in some hospitals “are already under significant pressure,” he added.

“When the number doubles in just over three weeks, we worry,” Ghaly said.

Los Angeles County health executives have said the same, saying they are worried that after the Thanksgiving holiday, cases could grow much better.

But their efforts to restrict movement are resonating. The suspension of the outdoor restaurant meal came with anger and despair on the part of the caterers who had been lying since the shutdown. The outdoor meal offered a lifebelt and many owners and workers felt they were doing everything they could to keep their facilities safe.

Others questioned the wisdom or effectiveness of the restriction and demanded a review of the data justifying such a move.

The split Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors rejected Tuesday’s calls to lift the ban on personal outdoor meals and restrict restaurants – along with breweries and wineries – to pick-up and delivery beginning Wednesday at 10 p.m.

Superintendent Kathryn Barger, who is in the district of Santa Clarita, north of LA County and in the northern part of the San Gabriel Valley, said the suspension “punishes a sector that unfairly places the burden” – adding that that this county has taken over everything must be closed unless we have a good reason to open it. “

“I feel that what is happening today is really destroying not only workers but their families,” Barger said.

Barger and Hahn voted to block the ban. But most of the board swayed after county health officials made it clear that people who gather with others outside their immediate family and remove masks to eat increase the risk of new infections.

“It’s the only business that allows its clients to stay exposed for a long time,” said Superintendent Sheila Kuehl, who represents parts of Westside, the San Fernando Valley and Malibu. “And I think that’s enough to highlight it there.” We tried, but the numbers went up.

Solis, who represents East LA, southeastern LA County and parts of the San Gabriel Valley, said he was in a private hospital over the weekend because his mother had a health problem and was worried about what he saw.

“I’ve never seen ER corridors completely full in my life,” Solis said. “There was no free room to treat COVID patients. That was very shocking to me.

The 3–2 board vote on moving forward with the restrictions came shortly after the Los Angeles City Council voted to lift outdoor eating restrictions on Tuesday, 11–3. The vote was a recommendation because the city is usually governed by the county’s public health regulations.

“This will be the last nail in their coffin,” said Monica Rodriguez, a local restaurant councilor.

Counselor Mike Bonin, who, along with members Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, cast a dissenting vote, said some restaurants have created outdoor dining areas that have significant barriers to their patrons effectively experiencing indoor dining. He also claimed that the council, which does not have its own health department, does not have a group of experts to give them guidance in their decision.

“Since we don’t have scientists … I’d rather postpone the county that is responsible for the issue,” he said.

The California restaurant Assn. filed a lawsuit against the ban on county health officials and sought an emergency order from the judge, which stopped the new rules from taking effect.

Lawyers for the association have asked Judge James Chalfant to issue an order to prevent the closures from continuing unless health officials can provide scientific evidence in support of their decision to impose a ban on eating. Chalfant rejected the request, calling the evidence presented by the association ‘insufficient’ for the ban to be lifted, and to require the county to provide the information in its judgment.

The judge also said that in the absence of “solid evidence” from the association that the eating ban was inadequate, he did not plan further hearings to consider whether the ban should be lifted. If new evidence comes to light, Chalfant says the association is free to bring it to him.

Critics of the outdoor eating ban actually won in Pasadena, which he said allows restaurants to continue their al fresco dining despite the county order. The city has its own Department of Public Health, which can issue independent orders, and has so far generally followed the leadership of Los Angeles County.

“We evaluate our data on a daily basis, but at this point, we won’t close restaurants on Wednesday or in the near future,” said Lisa Derderian, a spokeswoman for the city of Pasadena.

San Francisco, whose own COVID-19 case number has soared but is still in much better condition than Los Angeles County, announced Tuesday that it will keep its outdoor dining open for the time being. Nevertheless, officials have warned that the virus is spreading rapidly. The positive rate of coronavirus tests has more than doubled in the past month. In the city, the rate of COVID-19 hospital treatment has doubled since the end of the month.

“It’s an epidemic once in a century,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, the city’s director of public health. – It’s time not to watch out for the wind.

Times staff members Maura Dolan in San Francisco, Sean Greene at Thousand Oaks, and Ryan Menezes and David Zahniser in Los Angeles contributed to this report.