AS Los Angeles County’s “safer at home” order is slated to expire this week, officials are now recommending that it be extended for another three months in a continued effort to diminish the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The county’s current emergency order was set to be lifted on Friday, May 15.
The possibility for an August reopening comes after Public Health Director Dr.
Barbara Ferrer at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 12 said that the directive “with all certainty” should be extended unless there is a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand” to combat COVID-19.
“Our hope is that by using the data, we’d be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The director subsequently in a statement clarified her remarks made earlier in the day by saying that the county is continuing its “road to recovery” with a phased approach to lifting certain restrictions.
“While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will be gradually relaxed under our five-stage Roadmap to Recovery, while making sure we are keeping our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic,” Ferrer said. “We are being guided by science and data that will safely move us forward along the road to recovery in a measured way—one that allows us to ensure that effective distancing and infection control measures are in place.”
On the same day, the county Department of Public Health confirmed 45 new deaths and 961 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The latest statistics bring the county total to 1,613 deaths and 33,180 positive cases.
The department reported that 2,009 individuals of Asian descent have contracted the virus, though no further information of disaggregated data by group is provided.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 1,490 people (99% of the cases); 38% of deaths occurred among Latino residents, 29% among White residents, 18% among Asian residents, 13% among African American residents, 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
The county began easing restrictions this past weekend in time for Mother’s Day, allowing certain retail businesses previously deemed non-essential to reopen with social distancing and curbside pickup measures in place.
Among those that resumed business for the first time in two months are florists, bookstores, sporting goods stories and car dealership showrooms. However, the establishments are closed to all public entry. Hiking trails, parks and golf courses were also included in the reopening.
On Wednesday, May 13, beaches in the county were reopened to the public under restrictions and limited activities, such as running, walking, swimming and surfing.
Leisurely activities like sunbathing and picnics are still not allowed.