LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles County confirmed 3,780 new coronavirus circumstances Saturday and three,061 extra on Sunday, a dramatic spike prompting county well being officers to weigh a brand new spherical of restrictions Monday. Mainly, officers are contemplating a enterprise curfew to cease folks from utilizing eating places as bars by gathering late within the night over cocktails.
Although county and well being officers anticipated a fall surge as new circumstances peak nationwide, the weekend’s numbers proved unsettling to county leaders. It portends extra deaths and the specter of overwhelmed hospitals. Together with the spike in new circumstances, the positivity price climbed above 6 % for the primary time in additional than a month. It is a signal that the coronavirus is now circulating extra broadly locally.
On Monday, California Gov. Gavin newsom introduced plans to rapidly roll again reopenings in communities the place the outbreak is worsening. Nonetheless, Los Angeles County has at all times remained in essentially the most restrictive shutdown tier. During the last month, the county has allowed restricted openings of salons, tattoo parlors, breweries, wineries and faculties. The county’s choices for rollbacks stays restricted.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas reiterated Monday that the county shall be discussing the potential of extra restrictions this week, together with a potential curfew for enterprise operations or different restrictions on working hours.
“Whereas we must always not bounce to any conclusions earlier than the Board of Supervisors has had time to completely think about all choices, I belief we shall be guided by methods to securely maintain the economic system open,” he stated in an announcement. “We should additionally search for structural methods to remind everybody that the most secure place to be proper now’s at residence. Potential choices may embody instituting a curfew, so companies wouldn’t have to shut once more. Slightly, companies would have restricted hours for important actions.”
Supervisor Janice Hahn echoed that risk, notably for eating places.
“The very fact of the matter is, this can be a dire warning to all of us. It is an alarm that the circumstances have spiked so dramatically,” Hahn informed KNX Newsradio Monday. “The suggestion is that we ask our companies, our eating places, to shut perhaps by 10 p.m. in order that they do not basically develop into bars the place persons are simply sitting round ingesting, laughing and speaking with out their masks on. So it is not a basic public curfew for everyone.”
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to fulfill in closed session Tuesday.
The weekend spike got here on the heels of per week that noticed circumstances prime 2,000 nearly every single day. By comparability, the county was averaging 988 new circumstances per day in early October. The county has additionally seen a gradual enhance in hospitalizations. The variety of L.A. County residents hospitalized with the virus surpassed 1,000 on Sunday for the primary time in months, leaping from 966 on Saturday to 1,014, with 27% of these sufferers in intensive care.
Though the speed of deaths from the virus has not risen, that quantity is taken into account a “lagging indicator,” which means it tends to extend a number of weeks after a spike in hospitalizations.
The Division of Public Well being indicated final week that the elevated variety of circumstances in current days displays partly elevated testing throughout the county. Practically 3,386,000 people had been examined as of Sunday, with 9% of all folks testing optimistic for the reason that begin of the pandemic. The current positivity price, which had fallen close to 3%, has additionally been on the rise, almost 6% as of final week.
Well being officers have pointed squarely at gatherings of residents — both in public or personal settings — for driving the current surge, which has primarily concerned youthful residents underneath age 50. They even advised folks gathering at eating places or at associates’ houses to observe sporting occasions, such because the Dodgers’ World Sequence run and the Laker’s NBA championship, for pushing up circumstances.
Los Angeles County is already mired in essentially the most restrictive purple tier of California’s four-tier coronavirus monitoring system, inserting extreme limits on companies and public gatherings. Primarily based on the surge in circumstances in current weeks, the county shall be staying in that purple tier indefinitely.
The rise in circumstances complicates planning for rising the numbers of scholars returning to colleges, additional re-opening extra enterprise sectors and allowing extra actions.
“Many youthful persons are out socializing with non-household members, elevating considerations that asymptomatic younger persons are serving to to unfold the virus to extra susceptible folks at a time when circumstances are surging dangerously within the county,” Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer stated over the weekend.
“Whereas the impact of the coronavirus on youthful folks will not be considerably related to deaths, youthful folks positively act as a transmission connector to people at a better threat. Unfold amongst relations and at worksites may also enhance significantly as we see increasingly circumstances amongst our youthful residents,” she stated. “Throughout this time of surging circumstances, in an effort to defend these most susceptible, we ask that everybody, whether or not you’re indoors and outside, maintain face coverings on and keep 6 toes away from those that are older and those that have underlying well being situations. We don’t need to bear witness to elevated deaths amongst extra of our beloved residents.”
The state on Friday issued a journey advisory urging residents to keep away from non-essential journey. It additionally recommends that folks touring into California — whether or not they’re guests or returning residents — from one other state or nation to self-quarantine for 14 days. Los Angeles County well being officers have an analogous advice on the books, urging residents to journey out of state to quarantine upon their return.
The journey warnings come two weeks prematurely of Thanksgiving, which has well being officers on edge, fearing that gatherings of households and associates from a number of households may develop into super-spreader occasions.
Ferrer informed reporters Thursday that residents must have a good time the vacation in a means that’s respective of the pandemic. She stated residents ought to keep at residence for the vacation, and in the event that they do collect with different folks, the occasions have to be restricted to a few households and be held outside for a restricted time, with face coverings and social distancing.
Metropolis Information Service and Patch Staffer Paige Austin contributed to this report.