With new state-mandated restrictions set to go into effect on Sunday at 11:59 p.m., COVID-19 rates in Los Angeles County continue to soar.
The county broke new records again with 8,948 new cases reported on Saturday and 2,769 people hospitalized with COVID-19, both all-time highs for LA County. Of those hospitalized, 23% are in intensive care.
Because there are so many people in the ICU, the state will put the Southern California region on new Safer at Home restrictions.
According to guidelines established by Gov. Gavin Newsom, once the number of available ICU beds in a region falls below 15%, that triggers the new restrictions. The governor’s plan divides the state into five different regions for the purposes of these ICU bed counts.
The 11-county Southern California region was at 12.5% available ICU beds on Saturday, down from 13.1% on Friday.
“The bottom line is if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Newsom said Thursday. “If we don’t act now, we’ll continue to see a death rate climb, more lives lost.”
These new restrictions, the tightest since the original Safer at Home order was issued in March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, will require everyone to wear a mask when out in public and ban any gatherings of people outside of one’s immediate household.
Under the new restrictions, essential businesses like grocery stores will have to operate at 20% capacity, down from the current 35% capacity under which they have been operating.
Non-essential businesses will be allowed to remain open, but operating at 20% capacity.
These places are closed:
- indoor and outdoor playgrounds
- indoor recreational facilities
- hair salons and barbershops
- personal care services like nail salons
- museums, zoos, and aquariums
Offices must also close and employees must work remotely, except for these critical infrastructure workers who must be on site to perform their jobs.
Restaurants in LA County have been closed to in-person dining since Nov. 25, thanks to an order from county health department. However, when the state’s restrictions go into effect, restaurants throughout the rest of the Southern California region would be forced to close except for take-out orders or deliveries.
Hotels must close to tourists, but will be allowed to remain open for “critical infrastructure support only,” such as a place for front-line workers like hospital employees to stay between shifts.
Churches may continue to hold services, but will be restricted to outdoor services only.
Professional sports can continue playing, but without a live audience.
Meanwhile, schools which have received waivers from the state are allowed to remain open.
These restrictions will be in effect for three weeks, ending on Dec. 28. However, they could be extended if the COVID numbers do not drop significantly.
Los Angeles County now has a cumulative total of 439,408 cases since the pandemic began. The cumulative death toll in the county now stands at 7,886 people, with 44 of those deaths being registered on Saturday.
West Hollywood saw ten new cases on Saturday for a cumulative total of 989 cases. There were no new deaths from COVID in the city. The city’s cumulative death toll remains at nine deaths.
Below are the daily numbers for areas near West Hollywood:
- Beverly Hills – 19 new cases for a total of 1,073 cases.
- Culver City – 14 new cases for a total of 700 cases.
- Hollywood – 39 new cases for a total of 2,104 cases.
- Melrose neighborhood – 53 new cases for a total of 3,090 cases.
- Miracle Mile – 3 new cases for a total of 324 cases.
- Park La Brea – 9 new cases for a total of 214 cases.
- Santa Monica – 38 new cases for a total of 1,635 cases.
For information about the many resources available to West Hollywood residents who have been impacted by COVID-19, CLICK HERE.