SoCal coronavirus shutdown will last through Christmas as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge

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Kelsy Tasem, 11, left, and sister Mackenzi, 14, have their socially distanced photo taken with Santa Claus, played by Jeffrey Fast, during a visit Wednesday to the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Kelsy Tasem, 11, left, and sister Mackenzi, 14, have their socially distanced photo taken with Santa Claus, played by Jeffrey Fast, during a visit Wednesday to the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

For millions of Californians, the COVID-19 pandemic will provide a most unwelcome gift this Christmas: a wide-ranging shutdown imposed as the state grapples with its most massive and dangerous surge in infections and hospitalizations to date.

The restrictions that took hold at 11:59 p.m. Sunday across Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will remain in place for at least three weeks, meaning those regions will not be able to emerge from the state’s latest stay-at-home order until Dec. 28 at the earliest.

Five counties in the San Francisco Bay Area also announced last week that they are proactively implementing the new restrictions and plan to keep them in place until at least Jan. 4.

Combined, those regions are home to some 33 million Californians, representing 84% of the state’s population.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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