Sunday, 17 Jan 2021

LA County's 'alarming' COVID-19 surge leads to a halt in dine-in services

Gov. Newsom considers statewide curfew in California

California business owners face new round of coronavirus rules as cases spike; hair stylist Erica Kious weighs in on new restrictions.

Health officials in Los Angeles County announced Sunday that onsite service for restaurants, bars and wineries will be prohibited for at least three weeks to try and stem the “alarming” rate of coronavirus cases in the nation's most populous county. 

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Under the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be limited to take-out, drive-thru and delivery services only. The newest restrictions will take effect at 10 p.m. on Nov. 25. 

On Sunday, county officials reported nine new deaths and 2,718 new cases of COVID-19. Sunday’s five-day average was 4,097 cases and there were 1,401 hospitalizations.

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Prior to Sunday's announcement, LA County officials had previously warned that these restrictions could come if the five-day average of new cases in the county totaled above 4,000 or hospitalizations were more than 1,750 per day.

Authorities said the focus is to help "reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings." 

However, concern has grown across the state as cases continue to surge ahead of the holiday season. 

In recent weeks, officials statewide have been urging Californians to avoid traveling or gathering in groups for the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving. 

The California Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 15,000 coronavirus cases statewide Saturday — by far the highest level since the pandemic began in March. Another 14,000 cases were recorded Sunday. 

CALIFORNIA'S NEWSOM IMPOSES NEW LOCKDOWN, INCLUDES COUNTY WHERE HE DINED AT UPSCALE FRENCH RESTAURANT

As a result, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a monthlong curfew for "purple tier" counties, which are experiencing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations.

The curfew, which took effect Saturday, requires people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless they are responding to an emergency, shopping for groceries, picking up takeout or walking their dogs.

The monthlong curfew is subject to end on Dec. 21 but could be extended if rapidly worsening trends don’t improve.

In LA County's Sunday notice, officials urged "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." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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