Mayor urges Angelenos to continue social distancing amid record-high COVID-19 case increases

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday urged Angelenos to continue to stay home and socially distance as the city works to contain a surge in coronavirus infections that has grown worse over the past week.

The county on Monday reported its highest-ever daily increase in coronavirus cases, with another 2,903 confirmed infections pushing the total above 100,000 for the first time. Of those sickened countywide, 3,326 have died.

Monday’s increase shatters other records set just last week.

On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the county to rollback some of its reopening, with bars, wineries and breweries shutting down once again. And on Monday, the county Board of Supervisors ordered the closure of all county beaches over the Fourth of July weekend — from Friday, July 3, to Monday, July 6.

Public health officials indicated Monday that other reopenings could be rescinded if the county’s trajectory doesn’t improve. Garcetti said they’ve “hit a hard pause” on further openings, which were next expected at places like movie theaters, themes parks and other entertainment venues.

“COVID-19 is taking control, and we need to take control back,” Garcetti declared in Monday’s address.

Echoing language used at the beginning of shutdowns, the mayor said the next two weeks will be “defining” in L.A.’s efforts to minimize infections and deaths.

He urged Angelenos to forgo traditional Fourth of July celebrations “to protect what we have in this country, to protect who we are, and to make sure that our economy doesn’t take more steps backwards.”

County health officials don’t expect conditions to improve ahead of the holiday. On Monday, they said an estimated one in 140 people is currently infectious with COVID-19 in L.A. County, and the rate is expected to increase to one out of every 100 people or one in every 70 people.

“Think about that for a moment, when you go to a grocery store where hundreds of people will go through in a given day,” Garcetti said. “It means we are closer and closer to people who are infectious.”

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