Los Angeles likely to extend stay-at-home orders for the next 3 months says county Public Health Director

Los Angeles Times reports Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home orders will “with all certainty” be extended for the next three months, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged during a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

Ferrer later added that even if the orders remain in place through the summer, restrictions will be “gradually relaxed” under a five-step plan.

“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,” Ferrer said, adding that the county is counting on the public’s compliance with the orders to be able to relax restrictions.

Testifying before the Board of Superviros, Ferrer stressed further progress will be guided by efforts to contain the virus. Los Angeles County is now the Calfornia epicenter of the coronavirus, with more than 1,300 deaths so far.

“Our hope is that by using the data, we’d be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months,” she said. But without widely available testing for the coronavirus or rapid home kits that would allow people to test themselves daily, it seems unlikely that the social distancing directives and stay-at-home orders would be completely eased.

On Tuesday afternoon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also expressed hope there could be more easing in coming weeks.

“I am eager to reopen more of L.A. County as soon as it’s safe to do so, in collaboration with our health experts, community leaders, businesses and residents, with best practices in place to ensure our overall health and well-being. These decisions will be guided by the latest science and data collected,” she said in a statement.”I’m confident that the more our communities continue to comply, the sooner we can resume normalcy.”

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed Barger’s comments, saying that the city will continue to adjust orders to stay home gradually in order to allow more activities and more businesses to operate.

“We’re not moving past COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it — and we will keep taking measured steps toward a new, safer reality in the days and weeks ahead,” he said in a statement.

Ferrer’s comments came shortly before Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he was modifying the state’s stay-at-home orders to allow individual counties to approve the reopening of malls for curbside pickup service only. The order also allows for the reopening of some offices if teleworking is not feasible.

“We aren’t out of the woods yet,” Newsom reminded residents.

In L.A. County, confirmed cases and deaths have continued to rise.

When beaches reopen this week, how people can use the sand will look different. Face coverings will be required when not in the water, and sunbathing won’t be allowed. Only active recreation — surfing, running, walking and swimming — will be permitted. Coolers, chairs, umbrellas and any of the other accessories that typically dot the shoreline should be left at home.

The update to L.A.’s stay-at-home orders comes as officials try to meet two needs: restarting the economy under a new normal while also ensuring that the resurgence in activity doesn’t upend progress in the fight against the coronavirus.

There has been a big push in recent weeks to reopen the state’s economy, which has been hurt by the stay-at-home orders. Newsom last week announced new protocols for retail stores and some workplaces to reopen.

Under the plan, some in-restaurant dining, car washes and shopping malls could also be allowed to reopen in coming weeks if public health officials in a county are able to demonstrate that the spread of the virus has stabilized and that they have adequate testing and hospital capacity.

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