Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials on Sunday reported the county’s five-day average COVID-19 case rate had reached more than 4,000, prompting another tightening of pandemic safeguards and restrictions, including restricting dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars.
Effective 10 p.m. Wednesday, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars is set to be prohibited, with these businesses only able to offer pickup and delivery, for a minimum of three weeks.
Because the county continued to anticipate the potential for a continued surge in cases and hospitalizations, officials established thresholds for additional actions if these metrics continue to increase.
The first of these thresholds was met Sunday as the county tallied more than 21,700 new cases in the last five days, an average of more than 4,000 cases per day.
This prompted the second revision of the health officer order in one week, as the first revision just took effect Friday and included the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
“The persistently high number of cases requires additional safety measures that limit mixing in settings where people are not wearing masks,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a prepared statement.
“We hope individuals continue to support restaurants, breweries and wineries by ordering for take-out or delivery,” she said. “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 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.”
These restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars are expected to be notified via email by Public Health officials, who are set to work with them to ensure a smooth transition.
If these figures continue to rise and the five-day average of cases in the county reaches 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a “Safer at Home” order is expected to be instituted for three weeks, which would only allow essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes, along with mandating a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, with essential workers exempt.
COVID-19 cases have more than doubled since the beginning of November and hospitalizations have increased from an average of about 900 a day to more than 1,000 a day in the same time period, according to Public Health officials.