Los Angeles has increased its restrictions. Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a limited stay-at-home order. There’s now a curfew for businesses, which requires “generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier.”
Newsom issued the order shortly after facing controversy himself for breaking his own state’s social distancing rules. He attended an in-door birthday party at a lavish restaurant without any social distancing and masks. “Due to the rise in #COVID19 cases, CA is issuing a limited Stay at Home Order,” he tweeted. “Non-essential work and gatherings must stop from 10pm-5am in counties in the purple tier. This will take effect at 10pm on Saturday and remain for 1 month. Together–we can flatten the curve again.” Newsom has since apologized for attending the party, although he said it was an outdoor party but photos revealed it was in-door.
Back in March, Los Angeles officially began its first lockdown, As Newsom clarified, this order is similar. “This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applied only between 10 PM and 5 AM and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations,” he added in a statement. As for citizens, people can still go out and walk their dogs, pickup prescriptions, or grab takeout somewhere. Nonessential businesses, however, must close by 10 PM. The new Stay-at-Home Order starts on November 21st and continues until December 21st.
Los Angeles and other highly populated California counties have experienced a frightening rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Los Angeles County recently reported its highest-ever number of daily cases: 5,300 confirmed cases. “The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” added Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”
If the numbers continue to rise, more businesses will close down without any state government aid. If there are over 4,000 cases and 1,750 hospitalizations for five consecutive days, outdoor dining, breweries, and wineries will close. Only pickups and delivery services will continue if the number of COVID-19 cases get that high. “In all honesty, we never hoped or expected that we would be in this position at this time of the year,” L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. “We hoped we would be in stage 2 getting our schools back open. “At this point, no one should still be questioning this virus, nor should they be questioning the actions the need to be taken.”
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, who’s the county public health director, is concerned about hospitals and ICUs getting overwhelmed. If that happens, more people will go untreated and die. “If our case rates keep going up and our hospitalization rate is higher than July, there is no way we can keep up,” Ferrer said. “I don’t think it’s inevitable that we get there. The hope is we do every single thing that we can. We’re a little behind, to be honest. This has been a community that has rallied before.”
By now, California health officials were hoping to have reopened schools. Earlier this year, Ferrer and other health experts expected lockdowns and major restrictions to end by August. However, with the second wave of COVID-19 cases, Los Angeles and much of California are once again back to where it started in its fight against the coronavirus. Expect more updates on California’s latest stay-at-home order.