California counties will begin tougher COVID-19 restrictions on Monday as cases rise statewide and Thanksgiving travelers return home.
Health officials are bracing for a surge of cases in the next two or three weeks that could be linked to Thanksgiving gatherings. Authorities had urged residents to stay at home and limit their interactions with others, but millions of people across the country have defied that advice.
California had nearly 1.2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Sunday since the start of the pandemic. The state reported about 15,600 new cases on Saturday. There were 19,121 virus-related deaths in California during the pandemic.
The numbers are expected to increase in the coming days.
“The big unknown here is the actions people took during this long vacation weekend,” Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said.
If people engage in high-risk activities, she says, “we’re going through a very difficult time because we’re going to have a surge in addition to a flare-up.
LA County, the most populous in the country, will impose a lockdown calling on its 10 million residents to stay at home “as much as possible”, prohibiting them from meeting with people outside their homes on public or public occasions. private from Monday, except for faith-services and protests.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has estimated the county’s death toll from COVID-19 could reach over 11,500 by the end of the year, meaning more than 4,000 residents could die in the next five weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported. A record number of people in the county were infected last week.
In northern California, Santa Clara County – home to Silicon Valley – bans all high school, college, and pro sports and imposes a quarantine for those traveling to the region more than 241 miles away.
San Francisco and San Mateo counties have moved to the most restrictive purple level in the state’s pandemic plan for the economy, forcing most indoor activities to close by noon on Sunday and putting county residents under cover. fire from Monday evening.
In San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Park, the new 150-foot (45.7-meter) Ferris wheel named SkyStar closed below the new level on Sunday. The wheel was supposed to be the centerpiece of the park’s 150th anniversary, and it was not approved for opening until the end of October. No reopening date has been announced.