The state’s most populous Los Angeles county health officials on Friday announced a new Covid-19 home order that bans most public and private assemblies.
The new restrictions, which take effect on Monday and remain in place until at least December 20, prohibit public and private gatherings, except for people who already live together. Religious services and protests are exempt.
“Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a nose and mouth surface when they are outside their household and surrounded by others,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement on Friday.
The new rules, which affect the county’s 10 million inhabitants, limit basic retailers to 35 percent and non-core stores to 20 percent. Outdoor fitness centers and museums are limited to 50 percent of normal capacity and beach gatherings are prohibited. The playgrounds remain closed.
The restrictions follow Wednesday’s new ban on outdoor meals (indoor meals have already been banned), so restaurants offer only exceptions and transfers.
The stricter rules come after the five-day average of new cases exceeded 4,500, the threshold set by the county on 17 November. Public health officials then said that if the county reaches this threshold, new restrictions will be introduced.
On Friday, the health department reported a five-day average of 4,751 cases and 24 deaths over a 24-hour period.
The health department said the number of cases “remains at an alarming level” while hospital care “continues to rise”.
Liza Torres consented.