Los Angeles County officials issued a newer “Safer at Home” order on Nov. 27 in an effort to discourage crowds during the holiday season, prohibiting most gatherings and many of the non-essential businesses. The new order will go into effect on Monday and remain until Dec. 20. An extension will be considered if the surge of cases continues.

The new measures were rolled out as a result of more than 4,500 new COVID-19 cases and 24 more deaths reported on Nov. 27, according to Los Angeles County Public Health. They have advised residents to stay at home as much as possible and wear facial masks covering both nose and mouth when outside. All gatherings with individuals that are not in the same household are banned, but faith services and protests are exempt and protected by the constitutional rights of citizens.

“With the recent surge of COVID-19 across our community, we must take additional safety measures to reduce the risk of illness and death from this terrible virus and protect our healthcare system,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Public Health Department. 

“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread.”

According to the new restrictions, businesses are required to open at a certain amount of occupancy. For example, essential retail shops are to open at 35% maximum occupancy. Other businesses including personal care services and libraries will be allowed to open at a maximum of 20% of customers. Giant facilities such as museums, zoos or mini-golf can allow 50% maximum occupancy.

While many businesses are closing, various Los Angeles County schools are still open with following re-opening protocols. A press release from the public health department stated, “K-12 Schools and Day Camps with an outbreak (3 cases or more over 14 days) should close for 14 days,” 

As of Nov. 27, the county has reported 387,793 positive COVID-19 cases and a total of 7,604 deaths. Officials have established thresholds for issuing additional intervention actions such as the new “safer at home” order if the five-day average of cases exceeds 4,500 or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 daily. 

Written ByGrace Sui

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