By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — County public health officials said Monday residents must avoid attending gatherings with people from other households in order to stop a continued rise in coronavirus case numbers.

Reporting two coronavirus-related deaths and 1,406 new cases, Barbara Ferrer warned of an already worsening COVID-19 situation becoming even more dire during the upcoming holiday season without rapid behavioral changes.

“If we do nothing or continue on the path we’re currently on as a country, the cases will continue to rise,” Ferrer said.

She added: “We’d have to stop with the gatherings. … We’re pretty convinced at this point that these smaller gatherings where people feel pretty safe because they’re with friends and extended family are in fact fueling a lot of the increase, because they’re just not as safe as we’d like to believe they are.”

According to Ferrer, an ongoing USC study found that for the week ending Oct. 20, 57% of survey respondents reported being in close contact with someone they don’t live with in the previous seven days.

Ferrer said the county does not want to be forced into a position of forcing the re-closure of businesses that have been allowed to reopen during the pandemic, but it will take a commitment of residents to adhere to protocols.

She also warned Angelenos about gathering for Tuesday’ election night coverage, saying it’s “not a good idea.”

“Please don’t bring people inside your house, uh, who aren’t a part of your household, because it just keeps accelerating, this increase in the number of cases,” she added.

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