LA County reports a record-breaking 5,000 new coronavirus cases

Los Angeles County is reporting a staggering 5,031 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, raising the cumulative total to 353,232.

Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis says it’s the highest number reported by the county in a single day since the start of the pandemic, absent a backlog of cases. The county is also reporting another 29 deaths, raising the death toll to 7,363.

Davis said if the county’s daily COVID-19 cases continue at the pandemic-high level reported today, the county could find itself under a strict stay-at-home order as early as Sunday. Such an order would allow only essential workers to leave their homes, as well as people accessing essential services. It would also include a countywide curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Long Beach has not indicated whether it would follow suit. The city has its own health jurisdiction so it is not bound by the county’s decision, but it typically has followed the county’s lead on regulations.

County health officials, alarmed at rising rates of the virus, said earlier this week that if numbers rose to certain levels, stricter measures would be enacted:

If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars would be prohibited. These businesses would only be able to offer pick-up and delivery.

If the five-day average of cases in the County becomes 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, then a stay-at-home order similar to that issued in March would be instituted for three weeks. The order would only allow essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.

For now, restrictions set to take effect Friday are:

  • Indoor “non-essential” businesses such as retail stores, offices and personal care services will be limited to 25% occupancy
  • Outdoor service at restaurants, wineries and breweries will be limited to 50% of the maximum outdoor capacity
  • Outdoor cardrooms, miniature golf sites, go-kart tracks and batting cages will be limited to 50% of maximum outdoor capacity
  • Customers at personal-care businesses must make advance appointments, and no services that require customers to remove their face masks can be offered
  • Restaurants, wineries, breweries and non-essential retail businesses must be closed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Outdoor gatherings must be limited to no more than 15 people from a maximum of three households. The county previously issued guidance limiting gatherings to three households, but there was no numerical limit on attendees.

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