LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Friday warned that further restrictions could be on the way, if case counts and hospitalizations do not stabilize in the coming days.
“We are asking folks to take notice now that if we can’t get this back under control that is unfortunately where we are headed,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said.
The warning came as officials announced 4,272 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 357,451 cases and 7,396 deaths. Over the past three days, the county had added 13,247 cases, and the positivity rate has grown to 7.3%.
If the five-day average reaches 4,500 cases, or daily hospitalizations reach 2,000, the county will order another stay-at-home order.
In an effort to prevent that from happening, county leaders are pleading with the public to help slow the spread of the virus and follow local health orders that require limited capacity at non-essential businesses and the closure of restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10 p.m.-6 a.m.
But not everyone was onboard with the county’s latest efforts to slow the spread as diners continued to enjoy their meals and drinks after the mandated curfew in Old Town Pasadena.
“I don’t see anything going any different after the clock strikes 10,” Mark Thorn, a diner, said.
“What, is COVID gonna take a nap at 10 o’clock at night and go away,” Steve Barchan, another diner, said. “No. It’s ridiculous.”
And restaurants, already struggling under the stringent requirements, are concerned about whether they’ll be able to survive the latest round of restrictions — and surge in cases.
“We had 150 reservations usually on a Friday night, and we’re down to 40 tonight,” Armando Ramirez, co-owner of El Portal, said.
Starting Saturday, a curfew will be put into place for most of California. Gov. Gavin Newsom said gatherings, movement and non-essential work must stop between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. until December 21.