Officials consider more COVID-19 restrictions in L.A. County, including on malls and gyms

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Shoppers wait in line to enter the Calvin Klein store at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce on Dec. 22, 2020. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Shoppers wait in line to enter the Calvin Klein store at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce on Dec. 22, 2020. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that he would back new health orders being considered by the county Department of Public Health to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which is now resulting in the deaths of an average of 240 L.A. County residents a day, a record.

A decision hasn’t been made on whether closures or additional restrictions on capacity are needed. But settings that may be scrutinized could include outdoor gyms — which have been allowed to be open at 50% capacity — and indoor malls and retail, which are supposed to be open at only 20% of capacity, Garcetti said.

“I will support what [the Department of] Public Health recommends and our public health professionals recommend,” he said Thursday night. The mayor said it’s possible that additional closures may not be necessary if it seems the pandemic is stabilizing, “but the moment it goes up, like we saw in December — at any pace like that — absolutely, that is something we cannot sustain and most importantly, our hospitals cannot.”

Such a surge would tip L.A. County’s hospitals into the most catastrophic phase — caring for patients with “crisis standards of care,” in which hospitals are so overwhelmed by patients that they must choose which ones receive the attention of critical care nurses and respiratory therapists and access to ventilators, and which patients receive palliative care as they die.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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