LA County on the verge of new restrictions with 4,500 coronavirus cases


Another series of worrying case numbers has Los Angeles on the brink of new restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus – including the likely closure of outdoor restaurants.County data released Saturday night revealed 4,522 new cases; the average daily tally over the past four days is 4,442. If the average stays above 4,000 on Sunday – which seems almost certain – the restriction on outdoor dining is expected to be reinstated for the first time since May.

And Los Angeles public health officials have set another threshold if the five-day average hits 4,500: This will trigger a new home support order that would typically only allow essential workers and people with essential services to leave their homes. home.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 also continued to rise on Saturday, with 1,391 people admitted to county facilities, nearly double the average daily number in early October. About a quarter of these COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units.

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer renewed her call for the county’s 10 million residents to stay as much as possible at home, maintain their social distancing and follow other safety protocols.

“We need to change the alarming increase in cases and hospitalizations,” Ferrer said in a statement, “and go back to slowing the spread to avoid overwhelming our hospitals and save lives.

The county health chief also acknowledged the fatigue people are feeling as restrictions on businesses and public gatherings extend for a ninth month.

“While this pandemic never seems to end, I assure you it will be,” she said, thanking the public for staying the course.

The latest COVID figures have confirmed another dark trend: Young people are driving increased community transmission across the sprawling county, and the elderly are dying at much higher rates.

More than 72% of new cases reported on Saturday were in people under 50, while 91% of deaths were in people over 50. Of the 34 county residents who died from COVID-19 on Saturday, 15 were over 80, according to the new report.

County officials have warned of interventions that would lead to an increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations. Coronavirus cases began to increase at the end of October, prompting officials to scramble to contain the rise. The county has already ordered non-essential restaurants and stores to close to the public at 10 p.m. and limit capacity during opening hours.

The rest of California has mirrored the unfortunate trajectory, with an unprecedented rise in new coronavirus cases. For the first time, the state experienced three days in the past week with more than 13,000 new infections daily. Hospitalizations statewide have also increased.

The hike prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an amended stay-at-home order banning most non-essential activities outside the home from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in counties within the highest level. more restrictive, purple, of the four-phase reopening of the state. plan.

About 94% of the state’s population live in purple counties, including all of Southern California. The governor’s order was to come into effect on Saturday at 10 p.m. and remain in effect until December 21.

A protest against the restrictions was scheduled to take place at 10:01 p.m. on Saturday at Huntington Beach Pier. The day before, Orange County reported 1,169 new cases of the coronavirus – its highest total in a day since the start of the pandemic.

Orange County reported 806 new cases and 11 related deaths on Saturday, bringing its total to 69,142 cases and 1,551 deaths. Officials warned that the tiny tally over the weekend may reflect the state’s continuing reporting system, not a true drop.

365 coronavirus patients were confirmed at hospitals in Orange County on Friday. The three-day average number of hospital patients is up 54.1%, the county said.

San Bernardino County reported its highest single-day total of new cases on Saturday, at 2,873. There have been two deaths. Hospitalizations there were also on the rise, with 509 patients on Friday, an increase of 157% from the previous month.

Times editors Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money, and Sean Greene contributed to this report.


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