By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
As Los Angeles County continues to break its own record for new cases of COVID-19 reported in a day, the countywide Health Officer Order was modified to align with the State Regional Stay Home Order, which went into effect as the Southern California Region ICU capacity fell below 15%, according to the state.
The order went into effect Sunday, December 6, and will remain in place for at least three weeks. The Southern California region includes Imperial, Inyo, LA, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
“The order prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on December 5.
Hair salons, barber shops and personal care services are now ordered to close all operations across the county.
“We are closing our doors once again for the next three weeks,” the Palisades Barber Shop wrote in an Instagram caption. “Thank you to our community for all of your support. Merry Christmas and we’ll see you next year.”
Restaurants may remain open for take-out, pick-up or delivery, while indoor retail may continue to operate at 20% capacity, according to information provided by Public Health. Stand-alone grocery stores where the principal business activity is the sale of food may operate at 35% capacity. Places of worship are allowed to continue outdoor services.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner provided a districtwide update on Monday, December 7, shutting down campuses that had partially reopened.
“My commitment remains the same as I made when we were forced to close schools in March—we will not reopen schools until it’s safe and appropriate to do so,” he said. “This commitment also means we must respond to current conditions in the community.”
Beutner explained that because of the “dangerously high level of COVID in the Los Angeles area,” it is “no longer safe and appropriate to have any students on campus”—including in-person tutoring, childcare services and sports conditioning. He added that he would be asking all those who are currently working at schools to work from home if possible for the remainder of the semester.
“This is greatly disappointing to all who have been working so hard to build a proper foundation for students’ return to campus,” he continued. “Clean schools, proper health protocols and COVID testing for all at schools make a difference but they don’t provide immunity to the virus. We can’t create a bubble for the school community. When things are so dangerous in the communities we serve it has implications for schools as well.”
Los Angeles County surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 cases reported in one day for the first time, a grim milestone that was met on Sunday, December 6.
“LA County shatters the previous record for highest daily number of new cases by surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 cases reported in a day,” Public Health reported. “Nearly every day this week the county surpassed all-time highs for the daily number of new cases and the number of people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized.”
As the Palisadian-Post went to print Tuesday evening, the number of cases of COVID-19 across the county had reached 466,321 when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 8,000 deaths. The number of cases had reached 269 in Pacific Palisades, with an additional 60 in Palisades Highlands.
“The most important action we can all take to stop the surge is to stay home as much as possible,” Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer shared in a statement Monday, December 7. “Please, as we watch these numbers go up to levels we have never seen here in LA County, I ask everyone to make it their mission to do their part to prevent further transmission of the virus.”
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