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Los Angeles County on Sunday announced that starting Wednesday, November 25, outdoor dining — indoor dining is already not currently allowed — will be banned for at least three weeks at restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars, as the area sees its highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in early 2020.
“As we modify our Thanksgiving holiday celebrations, we are reminded of the many families who will miss their loved ones who have passed away from COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, LA County’s director of public health, said in a press release Sunday. “We send wishes for healing and peace. The [persistently] high number of cases requires additional safety measures that limit mixing in settings where people are not wearing masks. We hope individuals continue to support restaurants, breweries, and wineries by ordering for take-out or delivery. We also fervently hope every L.A. County resident supports all our businesses by following the Public Health directives that we know work to slow the spread. Unfortunately, if our cases and hospitalizations continue to increase, we will need to issue further restrictions to protect our healthcare system and prevent more deaths.”
Last week, LA County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases is 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, to restrict in-person dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars. If the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a “Targeted Safer at Home Order” will be issued for three weeks. The Order would offer additional restrictions while allowing essential and emergency workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.
There are 1,401 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 26 percent of these people are in the ICU. Over the past seven days, the number of hospitalized patients increased by nearly 35 percent.
“Public Health reminds everyone to stay home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks to change the trajectory of surging cases and save lives,” according to the release. “COVID-19 can be unintentionally spread to other people unless we all practice the simple safety precautions that prevent spread. Virus transmission can be significantly reduced if we all keep distance from others who we don’t live with, always wear a face-covering properly over our nose and mouth, and wash our hands frequently.”
To date, Public Health identified 364,520 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County and a total of 7,438 deaths. Testing results are available for more than 3,542,000 individuals with 10 percent of all people testing positive.