Los Angeles County health officials on Friday released a new, safer home order that includes stricter restrictions on outcomes and gatherings amid a surge in daily coronavirus cases.
The order will take effect on Monday and will run until December 20 as COVID-19 cases swell to a disturbing level. Officials have warned that additional measures will be introduced if the county’s five-day new case threshold exceeds 4,500 or if hospital care exceeds 2,000.
There are currently 1,893 people remaining in hospital and 387,793 cases have been reported in the county.
On Friday, the county health department reported 4,554 new cases and 24 deaths. The current five-day average is 4,751 cases. Health officials have expressed concern about the increase in sales before Thanksgiving and the following holidays next month.
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Under the new order, residents are asked to stay home “as much as possible” and wear face shields.
Public and private meetings with anyone outside the household are prohibited. Religious services and protests are exempt. Occupancy limits for retail businesses are limited to 35%, to shopping malls to 20%, and to fitness centers to 50%.
“Due to the recent increase in COVID-19, we need to take additional safety measures to reduce the risk of disease and death from this terrible virus and protect our health care system,” said Barbara Ferrer, county health director.
All outdoor leisure activities, except swimming, must be worn with a face mask. Beaches, parks and trails remain open.
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Golf courses, tennis courts, skating parks and bicycle parks are open to individuals or groups in the same household. Playgrounds will be closed, except in childcare facilities and schools.
Earlier this month, the county ordered all restaurants to suspend indoor and outdoor meals for three weeks, prompting a backlash and a California restaurant association (CRA) court order to suspend the mandate.