Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county plans to extend its stay-at-home orders for at least three additional months to help suppress the spread of coronavirus. Dr. Ferrer discussed the extension at a Board of Supervisors meeting this morning, as the county’s original order expires this coming Friday.
Dr. Ferrer also mentioned the county will continue to slowly lift social and business restrictions, but only if the data illustrates dramatic change — around infection and mortality rates, along with local hospitals’ ability to accommodate patients, among measures — according to the Los Angeles Times.
Also today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom presented some sobering guidelines for restaurants and bars, where restaurants must craft a “workplace specific plan” for how to deal with issues like physical distancing, the use of face masks, and sanitary procedures. While bars, nightclubs, distilleries, and other alcohol manufacturers that do not serve food should remain closed.
Between Newsom new restaurant guidelines and Dr. Ferrer’s extension, businesses and LA residents must figure out how to navigate an additional three months of restricted interactions. It’s a challenging task to gradually reopen the economy, ensure that residents stay healthy, and keep coronavirus cases from increasing.
Over the last week, LA County began the second phase of the state’s five-stage recovery plan. Last Friday, designated businesses were allowed to offer curbside pickup along with reopened trails, parks and golf courses. Starting tomorrow, beaches will reopen with required face coverings when not in the water, and not allow sunbathing or picnicking.
The extension of the stay-at-home orders comes just hours after Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that Americans would encounter “suffering and death that could be avoided” and experience further economic damage if states reopen before seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases.
The most populous county in the Unites States, LA County, reported 39 new deaths and 591 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday — a marked contrast to neighboring Orange County and Riverside counties, which have both seen their numbers decline in recent weeks.