Mayor Eric Garcetti told a press conference on Wednesday that residents should stay home as much as possible as the city faces tough choices between “health, disease, care, indifference, life and death.”
Garcetti said, “It’s time to take shelter. It’s time to cancel everything. If not, don’t do it.” “Do not meet others outside your family, do not host this gathering, and do not attend any gathering.”
The number of daily coronavirus infections in Los Angeles has tripled since early November. Garcetti said hospitalizations have more than tripled and are at a new peak.
He said, “The public health situation in our city is terrible, as it was in March in the early days of this epidemic.”
Cases have been rising statewide, too. On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is considering a “drastic measure”, including reinstating the stay-at-home order, as projections show that an increase in Covid-19 cases will lead to the state’s ICU capacity being exceeded by Christmas Eve.
Newsom plans to update the nation’s response to the pandemic at the noon (3 p.m. ET) press conference on Thursday.
All county residents are required to stay home as much as possible and wear face masks when outside, even when exercising. It reduces the maximum occupancy for basic businesses to 35% and for non-essential businesses, personal care services and libraries to 20%.
Outdoor businesses, including fitness centers, zoos, botanical gardens, and patting cages, were reduced to 50% max.
Newsom said Monday that at the current rate of new infections in California, the number of hospitalizations could double or triple during the month of December if there are no major changes to stop the spread of the virus.
Patients who need intensive care will exceed capacity, according to the state’s forecast. Statewide, ICU capacity is projected to reach 112% by mid-December, while Northern California is expected to see 134% more ICU patients than beds by early December.
No specific restrictions were disclosed, but Newsom made clear that most of the state would likely be subject to stronger restrictions, including reinstating stay-at-home orders. This is expected to apply to 51 of California’s 58 counties ranked in the most restrictive reopening category. This includes about 99% of the state’s population.