Los Angeles County goes into new Safer at Home restrictions on Monday morning as a response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the corresponding rise in hospitalizations.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued this new Safer at Home order on Friday. However, these restrictions will not be as severe as the Safer at Home lockdown issued in March at the beginning of the pandemic.
This Safer at Home order is scheduled to last just three weeks, ending on Dec. 20. However, there is a distinct possibility it will be extended beyond that if the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations does not start to decline. If it is extended, further restrictions will likely be imposed.
Health officials fear the number of new cases will only continue to rise as many people may have been exposed to the virus during the Thanksgiving holidays. Despite numerous warnings against it, many people traveled for the holidays and/or gathered with groups of people outside their immediate household.
These restrictions will allow non-essential businesses to remain open, but at 20% capacity. That’s down from the 25% non-essential businesses had previously been operating under.
Meanwhile, essential businesses such as grocery stores must now operate at 35% capacity, down from the previous 50% capacity.
The restrictions also ban any gatherings of people not already living together in a household. The only exceptions are for protests and religious services, rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution and recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Schools and day camps that are already open are allowed to remain open, provided they are following previously established reopening guidelines. It there is an outbreak of three or more cases, the school must close for 14 days.
All playgrounds must close, except for playgrounds connected to day care facilities or schools.
In-person dinning at restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries was banned under a different order, effective Nov. 25. However, restaurants are still allowed to provide take-out orders and deliveries.
Below are the new occupancy rates for various businesses types under the new order:
- Essential retail: 35% maximum occupancy.
- Nonessential retail (includes indoor malls): 20% maximum occupancy.
- Retail portion of wineries and breweries: 20% maximum occupancy.
- Personal care services: 20% maximum occupancy.
- Libraries: 20% maximum occupancy.
- Fitness centers operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy.
- Museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy.
- Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors: 50% maximum occupancy.
Outdoor recreation activities are still permitted. Beaches, trails, parks, golf courses, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks and community gardens will all remain open. However, when at these locations, face coverings must be worn at all times and social distancing must be observed. Gatherings with people outside of your immediate household is prohibited.
Outdoor swimming pools will remain open for lap swimming, but only one person allowed in each lane of the pool for swimming laps.
Drive-in events such as movies or car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of the same household.
Public health officials recommend people stay home as much as possible to avoid possible contact with people who are infected with the coronavirus. When in public, practice social distancing of at least six feet and wear a facial mask.
Los Angeles County reported 5,087 new cases on Sunday, for a cumulative total of 383,275 people since the pandemic began. The county has a cumulative death toll of 7,580 deaths to date.
West Hollywood has a cumulative total of 934 cases and eight deaths.
There are currently 2,049 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in LA County, with 24% of those people in the ICU.