By Brian Mellie Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County announced a new home stay order Friday as coronavirus cases spiraled out of control in the country’s most populous county.
The three-week order takes effect on Monday. This happened when the county confirmed 24 new deaths and 4,544 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The county had set a threshold for issuing a home stay order: an average of 4,500 cases a day for a five-day period, but did not expect to reach that level until next month.
However, the five-day average of the new cases reported on Friday was 4,751.
“We know we want so many of the many people who have been sacrificing for months,”
The order advises residents to stay at home “as long as possible” and wear a face blanket when they go out. Prohibits people from associating with other people who are not in their households, whether publicly or privately.
Exceptions are made for church services and protests, “which are constitutionally protected rights,” the district public health department said in a statement.
Retailers who make a large portion of their profits during Thanksgiving and Christmas can remain open but with limited capacity, including nail salons and other personal hygiene services.
Restaurants in the county have recently been banned from eating in person. They can still offer pick-up, delivery and pick-up services.
Beaches, trails and parks will remain open, with safety requirements.
The order, which runs until December 20, is more modest than the state closure order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsum in mid-March. The order closed schools and most businesses and severely restricted traffic, except for key workers or for basic duties such as buying groceries or taking medicine.
Restrictions are said to have slowed the spread of COVID-9 and some restrictions have been eased, but the volume of cases has risen again over the summer and risen to record levels in most parts of the state in recent weeks – as in most countries in the country.
Daily case numbers in California have set records in recent days. Hospitalizations in the country have increased by more than 80% in the last two weeks. Currently, nearly 2,000 people in the county are hospitalized and the new order is part of efforts to prevent overloading the county’s health care system.
Meanwhile, public health officials are preparing for a wave of cases that may follow Thanksgiving gatherings. Officials say it usually takes two to three weeks to show such serious cases, but about 12% of those infected can complete hospitalization.
Despite its growing reputation, Los Angeles has some of the densest neighborhoods in the United States. Many of these areas have multi-generational households where workers who do not have the luxury of working at work are exposed to the virus in the workplace or on public transport and spread to family members.
The number of cases in these communities is higher and the virus has disproportionately affected more Latinos and blacks.
Because infections are out of control, other options government officials can take are even more difficult and unlikely to be introduced in the United States, said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
China, for example, is testing millions of people and imposing quarantines. Italy introduced the military to impose a halt.
“It’s hard to imagine how far you can go in a society like ours,” he said. “It’s a balancing act, isn’t it?” You want people to obey him, but you don’t want to make him so draconian that people are constantly trying to figure out how to get around him. “