LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Los Angeles County announced a new stay-home order Friday as coronavirus cases in the nation’s most populous county show no signs of slowing down.
The three-week order takes effect Monday. It came as the county confirmed 24 new deaths and 4,544 new cases of COVID-19. The five-day average of new cases was 4,751.
On Nov. 17 Los Angeles County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases reach 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day.
Nearly 2,000 people in the county are hospitalized.
“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge.”
The order advises residents to stay home “as much as possible” and to wear a face covering when they go out. It bans people from gathering with people who aren’t in their households, whether publicly or privately.
However, exceptions are made for church services and protests, “which are constitutionally protected rights,” the county Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Businesses are allowed to remain open but with limited capacity, and the same is true of nail salons and other personal care services.
Beaches, trails, and parks also will remain open, with safety requirements.
The order, which runs through Dec. 20, is more modest than a statewide closure order in the spring.
The additional safety modifications in the order include the following changes to the existing health officer order:
- Gatherings: All public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.
- Occupancy limits at various businesses; all individuals at these sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance:
- Essential retail – 35% maximum occupancy
- Non-essential retail (includes indoor malls) – 20% maximum occupancy
- Personal care services – 20% maximum occupancy
- Libraries – 20% maximum occupancy
- Fitness centers operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
- Museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
- Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
- Outdoor recreation activities all which require face coverings (except for swimming) and distancing:
- Beaches, trails, and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited.
- Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane.
- Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.
- All schools and day camps remain open adhering to re-opening protocols. K-12 Schools and Day Camps with an outbreak (3 cases or more over 14 days) should close for 14 days.
- Closed non-essential businesses/activities:
- Playgrounds (with the exception of playgrounds at childcare and schools)
NewsNation affiliate KTLA and the Associated Press contributed to this report