LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 2,593 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 13 deaths Monday, bringing countywide totals to 136,129 cases and 3,822 deaths.
The department also reported it continued to see evidence of increased community spread of COVID-19 with 2,056 people hospitalized — 28% of which were in intensive care units and 20% of which were on ventilators. The positivity rate, the number of people who test positive for COVID-19, remained steady at 9% with more than 1.3 million people tested.
News of the continued surge came as Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all indoor operations at restaurants, bars, gyms, churches, malls, and other locations in 30 counties statewide — including Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange — in an effort to slow transmission of the illness.
— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) July 13, 2020
“We will heed the guidance that the state gives us to enforce these new state requirements and we’ll modify our own health officer order,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said during a Monday briefing. “And I know this step back in our recovery journey is disheartening, but we must do everything in our power to stop the virus from spreading, from the making the people we love sick and from causing untimely death.”
The health department also issued its new guidelines on reopening primary and secondary schools in L.A. county.
“The protocols do not authorize schools to reopen for in person classroom instruction,” the county said in a statement. “School re-openings will be guided by the state and by each school district’s decision on how to best configure learning opportunities during the pandemic, considering the levels of community transmission and what the science tells us about the risks.”
And though the protocols serve as a roadmap for schools to reopen safely, Los Angeles Unified School District said Monday that it would not have on-campus instruction this fall.
Health officials also stressed the importance of hand washing, self-isolating if sick, practicing physical distancing and wearing a clean face covering while outside of the home.
“All of our actions and behaviors now help determine what our lives, our communities and our economy will be like in the months ahead,” Ferrer said.
But barbershop owners Christine and Rick Wood said they already know what it will be like if they close their Laguna Hills shop, so they said they still planned to open their doors Tuesday.
“Because when we reopen up again in two weeks or two months or whatever he decides this time we’re going to be wearing masks and we’ll still be sanitizing,” Rick said. “It has nothing to do with being a patriot, it has everything to do with keeping this barbershop open and these people’s families fed and my family fed.”
And JB Fitts, who owns CrossFit Crown City in Pasadena, said he will try to survive the latest closures by moving classes outside, as allowed by the state, because he said he doesn’t believe the state has provided enough evidence for another shutdown.