March 5, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

COVID-19 Cases Surging In Los Angeles

As California surpassed one million COVID-19 cases as the rate of infections continued to rise across the country, Los Angeles County has also  had a surge in Covid-19 cases. Over 350,000 cases and over 7,000 deaths have been reported in LA County alone. 

At this time, the County is reporting 2,884 cases as the five-day average and 1,126 hospitalized patients. The County continues to anticipate the potential continued surge of cases and hospitalizations.

In response effective Friday, Nov. 20th, 2020, Los Angeles County has announced that it will tighten safeguards and restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase significantly. These safeguards and restrictions are aimed at protecting the public health and safety of community members and ensuring the capacity to be effectively treated in the region’s hospitals.

The first Los Angeles County measures, effective this Friday, include:

For non-essential businesses permitted to operate indoors — including retail stores, offices, and personal care services — occupancy will be limited to 25 percent maximum capacity.

The number of patrons at outdoor restaurants, breweries, and wineries will be limited to 50 percent maximum outdoor capacity.

Services at personal care establishments may only be provided by appointment to customers wearing face coverings by staff wearing face coverings.

Restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Outdoor gatherings remain the only gatherings permitted, and they must only include 15 people maximum who are members of no more than 3 households. Indoor gatherings with people outside of the immediate household are not permitted.

The City of West Hollywood has lost several LGBTQ+ businesses due to the financial stress of COVID-19. Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath responded to how West Hollywood should handle the situation. 

“COVID-19 cases are rising sharply and we can’t afford to let our guard down. This is a critical time for all of us to use caution and to take preventive action,” said Horvath. “Gatherings should be avoided as much as possible. If separate households must gather, please follow LA County guidelines to do so only outdoors and only for short periods of time and use masks, distancing, and sanitization. Little things like wearing a mask, keeping a six-foot distance, and frequent hand-washing add up to making a huge impact on reducing community spread of COVID-19. We’ve all got to do whatever it takes to get this surge under control as we head into the winter months.”

A recent UCLA study found that a simple cloth mask provides significant protections against COVID-19 transmission, reducing the spread of respiratory droplets by as much as 77 percent and the combination of face shield and cloth mask improved the particle reduction to 89 percent.

The City of West Hollywood has had a mandatory face-covering requirement in effect since late May 2020 and has been promoting a Cover That Face, Maintain Your Space message with its campaign of the same name, featuring graphics with brightly colored green, blue, and violet backgrounds and a diverse collection of illustrated characters embracing safe, responsible behaviors.

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