Los Angeles County measures, affecting nearly 20 million people who live in and around the nation’s second-largest city, exceed the curfew imposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom last week, excluding social gatherings and other non-essential activities in most parts of the country. Country between 10 PM and 5 AM.
Taken together, it represents the stricter Covid-19 measures imposed on the Los Angeles area since California’s first statewide lockdown in March, early in the pandemic. It is also among the most restrictive measures nationwide.
State and local authorities have placed or re-imposed a wide range of restrictions on social and economic activity in hopes of preventing a wave of coronavirus infections that spiraled out of control across the country after a late summer lull.
Political leaders and health officials have also stepped up public calls for pandemic-exhausted Americans in recent days, urging them to stay home, avoid gatherings and cut back on Christmas shopping while they await promised vaccines.
When announcing the latest temporary restrictions, Los Angeles County health officials said the daily toll of newly documented infections had exceeded 4,500 cases for five consecutive days, exceeding the limit previously set for additional measures to curb infection.
Under the new Los Angeles County order, which runs through December 20, residents are advised – but not required – to stay home as much as possible and always wear face coverings when outside and around others.
As for social gatherings of people from more than one home, they are prohibited, whether in public or private places, whether inside or outside the home. The latter order still allows for some trading activity, albeit at low levels.
Reduces maximum occupancy levels for ‘core’ retail businesses, including grocery stores, to 35% of capacity, while nonessential retail locations such as indoor malls and personal care services such as nail salons can remain open at 20% of capacity .
Beaches, walkways, and parks also remain open, as long as individuals keep away from others outside of their homes and wear masks. The same applies to the golf courses, tennis courts, skate parks and other outdoor recreational areas.
All indoor and outdoor services at bars, restaurants, wineries and breweries remain prohibited by a previous county order that restricted overseas and delivery only.
Health officials across the country have warned that the holiday travel season and the onset of cooler weather – leading to more social mixing and gathering of people indoors – is fueling the Covid-19 wave that has pushed the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths to record levels.
Nearly 388,000 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed across Los Angeles County to date, including more than 7,600 deaths, with 10% of all diagnostic tests showing positive – twice the rate considered by health authorities to be alarming.