LA County to extend Stay-At-Home orders

While Los Angeles County’s stay-at home order technically ends on Friday, residents can expect these restrictions to last through the summer. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged as much during a Board of Directors meeting yesterday. 

“We are being guided by science and data that will safely move us forward along the road to recovery in a measured way – one that allows us to ensure that effective distancing and infection control measures are in place,” she said, via The Los Angeles Times. She also stated that though these restrictions will be implemented, the goal is to “slowly lid restrictions” over these next few months.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also expressed her desire to reopen parts of L.A. County “as soon as it’s safe to do so.” “I’m confident that the more our communities continue to comply, the sooner we can resume normalcy,” she said.

L.A. County has become the epicenter of COVID-19 cases in California, leading the way with more than 33,000 confirmed cases and over 1,600 deaths, according to the CDC. Only Riverside County comes close to matching these numbers, with over 5,200 confirmed cases and 200 deaths.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti shared Barger’s optimism, saying that the county will continue to adjust stay-at-home orders to allow people to engage in more activities. “We’re not moving past COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it – and we will keep taking measured steps toward a new, safer reality in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.

California’s targets

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom released a series of benchmarks for each county to meet before reopening more of the economy. Two of the criteria are as follows: no COVID-19 related deaths within the last two weeks, and no more than one case per 1,000 residents within that same time frame. The Los Angeles Times found that no county in Southern California or the San Francisco Bay Area met those two criteria. Yesterday, L.A. County announced 961 new cases, along with 45 deaths.

In addition, beaches in the L.A. County will reopen starting today. In a Twitter post, LACounty Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that while beaches will be reopened, residents must “wear a mask when not in the water,” as well as maintain six feet of distance between different groups. Activities like picnicking and sunbathing will not be allowed, but surfing, jogging, and walking will be. Boardwalks, piers, beach parking lots, and bike paths will remain closed. Group sports like volleyball are not allowed, as well as biking.