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America’s most infected metropolitan area could close outdoor restaurants again – and could even face a three-week lockdown.
The Greater Los Angeles area added 4,522 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the four-day total to 17,769, according to county data. On Sunday, 2,231 more cases would bring the five-day average to 4,000, reaching the threshold of additional measures where restaurants, breweries and bars would again limit their activities to pick-up and delivery.
“We need to change the alarming increase in cases and hospitalizations and start slowing the spread again to avoid overwhelming our hospitals and saving lives,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County director of public health, in a statement. communicated. statement Saturday.
Saturday’s case count brought the total for the Greater Los Angeles area to 361,879, the highest among counties in the United States – and surpassing those in countries like Canada, Saudi Arabia, Austria and China, where the outbreak is believed to have started.
The Los Angeles area, with a population of around 10 million, had imposed additional measures from Friday evening, including limiting the capacity of retail stores, offices and restaurants. Non-essential stores and restaurants are also required to close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., except for take-out, delivery and pick-up.
Even tighter restrictions will follow if Sunday’s new cases reach 4,731. That will bring the five-day average to 4,500, which could trigger a three-week “Safer at Home” order, its version of a lockdown that s ‘comes with more restrictions, largely allowing “essential and emergency workers and those providing essential services to leave.” their homes. ”Hospitalization of over 2,000 a day would also lead to the order.
Ahead of the Thanksgiving break, officials across the United States urged residents to avoid trips and cut back on gatherings – or cancel them altogether. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted Saturday to remind residents to celebrate virtually or only with members of the same household.
Concerns escalated as California reported 15,442 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, peaking with the state’s nighttime curfew going into effect. The total number of infections has risen to nearly 1.1 million. The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will be imposed in most counties for a month, affecting areas that encompass 37 million people, or 94 percent of the population.