By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
With positive cases of COVID-19 surging and hospitalizations on the rise in the county and across California, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health urged residents to “take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
In a statement dated Monday, November 16, Public Health asked Angelenos to stay home as much as possible over the course of the next two to three weeks, except for when accessing essential services.
“Younger residents are among those driving the surge in increasing cases,” Public Health reported. “In the last month, the case rate for residents age 18 to 29 years old has more than doubled, from 11.5 cases per 100,000 people to 25 cases per 100,000 people.”
Residents 80 years and older continue to bear the “largest burden of serious illness.”
“This is most unfortunate and serves as a stark reminder that young people are spreading the virus with disastrous results for our elderly,” the statement continued.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his 75th address over the course of the pandemic detailing COVID-19 updates across the city on Monday evening, November 16.
“I so wish I were here tonight with a message of comfort and only of good news,” Garcetti said.
Offering a glimmer of hope, Garcetti shared news of two promising vaccine trials, adding that Los Angeles and statewide agencies are working together to be well prepared to distribute doses when the time comes—but warned “a vaccinated city is still months away.”
Garcetti, speaking ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, offered a strong “message of warning” that the risk of COVID-19 has “never been higher” and the “accelerating pace of infections has never been swifter.”
The mayor then detailed new travel advisories, put in place by Governor Gavin Newsom in coordination with the states of Washington and Oregon.
Garcetti implored residents to cancel all non-essential travel, but those who are traveling back into California after time away or welcoming guests from another state are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days to mitigate the risk of potential virus spread.
He added that the city of LA will began to ramp up enforcement of current Public Health orders—businesses who are violating requirements will be issued citations, with potential to revoke permits.
“The situation in LA is more concerning than it’s ever been,” Garcetti said, adding that right now is the “toughest moment” the city has faced.
He asked residents to stay home for the next two to three weeks for anything that is not essential, to assume that everyone they come into contact with outside of their household is infectious—warning “don’t share your air”—and to stop gathering indoors, which has become a top source for the spread of COVID-19.
Also on Monday, November 16, Newsom announced that “due to the alarming increases we are seeing in COVID-19 cases, CA is pulling an emergency brake.”
To slow the spread, 41 counties—including Ventura and Orange—will now be in the purple tier, which is the most restrictive. This accounts for 94% of California’s population.
Counties that were moved into the more restrictive tier were ordered to shut indoor activities that had previously reopened, including dining and movie theaters.
As the Palisadian-Post went to print Tuesday evening, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 across the county had reached 342,343 when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 7,275 deaths. The number of cases had reached 186 in Pacific Palisades, with an additional 41 in Palisades Highlands.
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