COVID-19 Spike May Send Los Angeles County Into Lockdown

Hazy dusk nightfall above Pasadena and Downtown Los Angeles

If the five-day average of cases grows to 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a Targeted Safer at Home Order will be issued for three weeks, the health department said.

The discussion will come one day after the county announced a single-day record 6,124 new coronavirus infections. "We send wishes for healing and peace", County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

If the county orders residents to stay home, it would be the first such action since mid-March when Gov. Gavin Newsom followed several counties and issued a statewide order that closed schools and severely restricted movement, except for essential workers or to buy groceries or pick up food. It will be the third time she's had to furlough employees and she was trying to develop a plan to keep as many employed as possible.

As COVID-19 spread surges in Los Angeles County, the number of COVID-19 workplace outbreaks across multiple sectors are increasing at alarming levels.

"We really appreciate that the best enforcement is voluntary compliance", she said.

Wineries and breweries can continue retail operations.

"These proposed measures by the Department of Public Health will further devastate local businesses and employees who have been asked to shoulder an unfair burden this year", Barger said.

Barger said only 10% to 15% percent of people infected have reported dining out with someone who tested positive, but 50% percent reported being at a private social gathering with someone who tested positive.

Restaurants, bar, breweries and wineries in LA County had been open with outdoor seating only. "We aren't helpless in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and can protect ourselves and our neighbors by maintaining physical distancing and wearing face coverings".

The county restriction ending in-person dining for three weeks is scheduled to take effect at 10 p.m Wednesday.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, however, defended the ban and noted that all five supervisors agreed to it a week ago. I don't see any support for that position anywhere and certainly, I don't support it. Some business owners say they are still paying off renovations implemented to expand outdoor dining.

Ferrer said she had no insight on what the board might decide to do on Tuesday. The Board of Supervisors is set to convene on Tuesday morning. "They're elected and in fact they can make a lot of different decisions as a board". Pasadena, which also has its own health agency, is still deciding.

Derderian said that city leaders made a relatively unanimous decision to keep the restaurants open based on current numbers.

L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis did not have exact data when asked if restaurants are driving the surge in cases, instead citing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found that those who tested positive are two times more likely to have gone to eat at a restaurant than not. The county also announced eight new coronavirus-related deaths, while Pasadena added one, raising the county death toll to 7,447. There were 1,473 confirmed coronavirus patients in L.A. County hospitals as of Saturday, an increase of about 92% from a month before. That's more than double the daily number at the beginning of October when it was under 700.

- outdoor gatherings must be limited to no more than 15 people from a maximum of three households.

Newsom has issued a 10 p.m.to 5 a.m. curfew for nearly all state residents and urged residents to avoid nonessential travel - during what is typically the busiest travel days of the year.

If another stay-home order is issued, it could create a conflict for those who planned to get together for Thanksgiving.

The rapid rise has taken public health officials by surprise, outpacing a troubling summer surge when average cases increased 43%.

In a previous tweet she said, "While I know our case counts are growing rapidly, I would have rather discussed this measure openly during our Board of Supervisors meeting so that the public could understand the rationale behind it".

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