L.A. County health officials announce 3-week stay-at-home order banning most gatherings set to take effect on Monday

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With coronavirus cases showing no signs of slowing down in Los Angeles County, health officials on Friday announced a temporary stay-at-home order set to take effect on Monday that urges residents to avoid gathering with people they do not live with.

The temporary order will be in place for three weeks through Dec. 20 and will allow essential and emergency workers, and those securing or providing essential and permitted services, to leave their homes, the county said in a news release.

“Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others,” officials said.

On Nov. 17, Los Angeles County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases reach 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day. Currently, the five-day average of new coronavirus cases is 4,751.

On Friday health officials reported 24 new COVID-19 deaths and 4,544 new cases. Health officials said because cases remain at “alarming levels” and hospitalizations continue to increase, tighter safety measures are needed countywide.

The new rules come two days after county officials banned outdoor dining.

“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge. Please remain home as much as possible and do not gather with others not in your household for the next three weeks.”

Here’s what is different come Monday:

  • Gatherings: All public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.
  • Occupancy limits at various businesses; all individuals at these sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance:
    • Essential retail – 35% maximum occupancy
    • Non-essential retail (includes indoor malls) – 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 all which require face coverings (except for swimming) and distancing:
    • Beaches, trails, and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited.
    • Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane.
    • Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.
  • Schools:
    • All schools and day camps remain open adhering to re-opening protocols. K-12 Schools and Day Camps with an outbreak (3 cases or more over 14 days) should close for 14 days.
  • Closed non-essential businesses/activities:
    • Playgrounds (with the exception of playgrounds at childcare and schools)
    • Cardrooms

There have been 387,793 positive cases of COVID-19 reported across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,604 deaths as of Friday. More than 3,681,714 people have been tested and 10% have tested positive.

On Friday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took to Twitter to tell Angelenos how sprawling coronavirus infections are and urged residents to slow the spread by tweeting: “Please stay at home as much as possible.”

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