LA County crosses COVID-19 threshold, triggering new restrictions on restaurants, wineries and bars – NBC Los Angeles

Los Angeles County will once again ban eating in restaurants and bars starting Wednesday, as the recent spike in COVID-19 took the five-day average of new cases to more than 4,000, officials said on Sunday. health.

In order to reduce the possibility of overcrowding and the potential for exposure in places where people do not wear their face masks, the county health official’s order will be changed so that restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars can only offer take out, drive through, and delivery services.

The order will apply for at least three weeks.

Officials warned of the possibility of such measures last week, as new cases and hospitalizations continued to rise in Los Angeles County and statewide. They follow a statewide “soft curfew” that went into effect on Saturday banning all “non-essential work, movement and gatherings” between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., continuing until the morning of December 21.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department reported 2,718 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths, bringing the county’s total to 364,520 cases and 7,438 deaths. The previous three days had each seen more than 4,000 reported cases, including a one-day record of 5,031 cases on Thursday.

If the five-day average of cases rises to 4,500 or more or if hospitalizations exceed 2,000 per day, a safer-to-home targeted order will be issued for three weeks, the health department said. This ordinance would provide additional restrictions while allowing essential and emergency workers and those providing essential services to leave their homes.

The number of county residents hospitalized with the virus rose from 1,391 on Saturday to 1,401, including 26% in intensive care. That’s more than double the daily count at the start of October, when it was below 700.

The ministry reminded everyone to stay at home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks to change the trajectory of the outbreak of cases and save lives, and repeated its advice that people do not travel for them. next Thanksgiving holiday.

“As we change our Thanksgiving celebrations, we remember the many families who will be missed by loved ones who have died from COVID-19. We send our best wishes for healing and peace, ”said County Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

“The high and persistent number of cases requires additional safety measures that limit mixing in settings where people do not wear masks.” We hope that individuals will continue to support restaurants, breweries and wineries by ordering for take out or delivery. We also strongly hope that every resident LA county supports all of our activities by following public health guidelines which we know are helping to slow the spread. Unfortunately, if our cases and hospitalizations continue to increase, we will need to issue new restrictions to protect our healthcare system and prevent more deaths. “

The other restrictions that took effect on Friday were:
– “non-essential” indoor activities such as retail stores, offices and personal care services will be capped at 25% occupancy;
– outdoor playrooms, miniature golf courses, karting tracks and batting cages will be limited to 50% of the maximum outdoor capacity;
– clients of personal care companies must make appointments in advance, and no service that requires clients to remove their face mask can be offered; and
– outdoor gatherings must be limited to a maximum of 15 people for a maximum of 3 households.

The county had previously issued guidelines limiting gatherings to three households, but there was no number limit for participants.

California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr Mark Ghaly said the state’s order was not a strict curfew, saying people can still leave their homes, but that they just shouldn’t get together with others. He noted that he still planned to take his dog on his normal 11 hour walk.

He said there was no definitive cause for the state’s sudden rise in cases.

“There is no single culprit,” Ghaly said. “It’s a combination of factors. It’s definitely the colder, more mixed weather, that comes with more openness.… And of course, more travel. We’ve enjoyed some events. Over the past few years. weeks – in my hometown of Los Angeles, the Dodgers, the Lakers. We had Halloween. We just left Veterans Day. We look forward to more events and activities to come as the dawn begins. winter. ‘

Asked how the restrictions will be enforced – in light of Southern California sheriffs saying they will not actively crack down on health violations – Ferrer said the county is not relying on forces from the order, but instead hoped residents would take the emergency to heart.

“We really appreciate that the best application is voluntary compliance,” she said. “We all did really well when we set a goal as a community and supported it. I can’t think of anyone at this point who is going to dispute the fact that we need to take action to slow the spread. , because this level of acceleration threatens our health system.

With the number of COVID cases increasing and a new “modified” stay-at-home order from Governor Gavin Newsome, will people be listening and staying home this Thanksgiving and not having a traditional family reunion? ? NBC4’s Conan Nolan chats with Anne Rimoin, Ph.D, professor of epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health about how to stay safe this Thanksgiving.

“And it threatens to cure every person in this county – for people who have a heart attack, for people who need emergency surgery, for people who need scheduled surgery, for people who are victims of car accidents or trauma. ”

Ferrer also noted that the increase in the number of cases is not just the result of an increase in testing. She said the growing rate of positive tests in the county shows the virus is spreading faster. The county’s seven-day average daily positivity rate among those tested for the virus was 3.9% on November 1, but it rose to 5.1% on November 8, and stood at 7.1%. from Saturday.

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