L.A. County to Implement Tighter Restrictions to Fight COVID-19 Spread

For non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors, occupancy will be limited to 25% maximum capacity. | Courtesy photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash

Starting this Friday, new restrictions will be in place as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase

Effective Friday, Los Angeles County will tighten pandemic safeguards and restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase significantly, officials announced Tuesday.

COVID-19 cases have more than doubled since the beginning of November and hospitalizations have increased from an average of about 900 a day to well over 1,000 a day in same period.

The first measures to go into effect this Friday include:

  • For non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors — including retail stores, offices, personal care services — occupancy will be limited to 25% maximum capacity.
  • The number of patrons at outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries will be limited to 50% max outdoor capacity.
  • The number customers at cardrooms, outdoor mini-golf, go-karts and batting cages will be limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity.
  • Services at personal care establishments may only be provided by appointment to customers wearing face coverings by staff wearing face coverings.
    • Services that require either the customer or the staff to remove their face covering, such as facials and shaves, are not permitted.
    • Food and drinks cannot be served at these establishments to customers.
  • Restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Outdoor gatherings remain the only gatherings permitted, and they must only include 15 people maximum who are members of no more than three households.

The Health Officer Order will be amended to reflect the above restrictions.

As of Tuesday, the county reported 2,884 cases as the five-day average and 1,126 hospitalized patients.

County officials anticipate a potential continued surge of cases and hospitalizations and have established thresholds for additional measures if those numbers keep increasing.

If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be prohibited and these businesses will only be able to offer pick-up and delivery. Businesses in this sector are being notified via email by the Department of Public Health, which will work with on a smooth transition.

If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,500 or more, or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a Safer at Home Order will be instituted for three weeks. The order would only allow essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes. A 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew would also be mandated, with essential workers exempt.

“Los Angeles County is at a critical moment to save lives and curb the spread of COVID-19. I urge our residents, businesses and community leaders to heed this warning and follow these heightened safeguards so that additional restrictions do not need to be imposed,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health.

For the most current data and information about COVID-19, visit the Department of Public Health’s website.

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