The curve is flattening in Los Angeles, but the number of people infected could still lead to more deaths
Orders from the city and county of LA requiring residents to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic—except for outdoor exercise in your neighborhood and critical errands—have been extended to May 15.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer says the extension is needed even as new data and modeling suggest that physical distancing and public health orders have slowed the spread of COVID-19 in LA.
“Because people are heeding the directives, we have in fact seen what we can now confirm is the flattening of the curve,” she said.
But because so many people have been infected, Ferrer says, “we have to continue to keep ourselves physically apart from each other.” To date, the county has confirmed 8,430 cases of COVID-19, including 241 deaths. The first death was reported on March 11.
Modeling from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services projects that 29.8 percent of the population will become infected by August 1, if we maintain this same level of social distancing.
“I know many of you were hoping we’d get to the end of April, and we’d be able to lift many of these restrictions, and I’m as sad as you are to note that this is not the time,” Ferrer said.
(We’re keeping a running list what is closed and what you’re allowed to do)
All beaches, trails, and nonessential businesses will remain closed until at least May 15, and all gatherings of any size outside your household are still prohibited.
The health orders also require essential businesses—such as gas stations, hardware stores, and laundromats—to provide cloth face coverings for all employees to wear when interacting with the public. Customers shopping at essential businesses are required to wear fabric face coverings too.
Angelenos have been living under “safer-at-home” orders since March 19. They were originally set to expire on April 19.
Asked whether all of those closures would lift simultaneously the day after the new order expires, Ferrer said she anticipated reopening outdoor spaces and businesses on on a rolling basis.
“I do not anticipate that we will lift all of our restrictions… I do know that every day we get closer to a place and a space where we’re getting closer to relaxing our restrictions,” she said.