Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on Nov. 19 a limited Stay at Home Order for all counties (including Los Angeles) in Purple Tier 1, requiring that non-essential work and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The order will take effect at 10 p.m. on Nov. 21 and will remain until 5 a.m. Dec. 21.
The limited Stay at Home Order is the latest restriction in a week that began with Newsom sounding an alarm about the surge in COVID-19 cases. On Nov. 17, L.A. County health officials announced new safeguards and restrictions to help slow the spread. Effective Nov. 20, those measures include: limiting maximum capacity to 25 percent for non-essential indoor businesses such as retail stores, offices and personal care services; limiting maximum capacity to 50 percent for outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries; limiting maximum capacity to 50 percent at cardrooms, outdoor mini-golf, go-karts and batting cages; requiring appointments-only at personal care establishments; prohibiting services that require customers to remove their face coverings such as facials and shaves and not allowing food and drinks to be served to customers at these establishments.
Outdoor gatherings remain the only gatherings permitted, with a maximum of 15 people and members of no more than three households. A curfew was originally imposed for restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars and all other non-essential retail establishments from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. That curfew has since been expanded into the Limited Stay at Home order for all non-essential gatherings.
In recent weeks, the County’s average daily rate of new cases per 100,000 residents has nearly doubled. Nationwide, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the last seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 29 new deaths and 5,031 new cases of COVID-19 as of Nov. 19. This is the highest number of daily new cases L.A. County has experienced throughout the pandemic. Over the last two days, there have been a total of 8,975 new cases reported; a two-day average of nearly 4,500 daily new cases.
According to Public Health, as of Nov. 19, “The County is experiencing a dangerous acceleration of cases that is increasing at a higher rate than the July surge. From June 20 through July 3, the seven-day average increase in new cases was 47 percent. From Oct. 28 through Nov. 10, the 7-day average increase in new cases is surging at 68 percent.”
To date, the agency has identified 353,232 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 7,363 deaths. In Beverly Hills, there have been 870 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths.
If the five-day average of cases in the County reaches or exceeds 4,000 or if hospitalizations reach more than 1,750 per day, more restrictions will be implemented. The restrictions include prohibiting outdoor dining and/or a more restrictive Safer at Home order with a three-week curfew.
“California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yetfaster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer,” Newsom said on Nov. 16. “The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes. That is why we are pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Now is the time to do all we can –government at all levels and Californians across the state–to flatten the curve again as we have done before.”
Earlier this week, Newsom ordered 28 counties moved back into the most serious Purple Tier 1. Nine counties moved back into Red Tier 2 and two counties moved back into Orange Tier 3. Out of California’s 58 counties, 41 are now in the most restrictive tier, accounting for 94.1 percent of the state’s population.
In Beverly Hills, local businesses are feeling the effects of the restrictions.
“We are all in this together,” Dani Faraj, owner of Brighton Salon, told the Courier. “It’s not affecting my salon because we are operating at 25 percent anyway. We welcome the new rules to ensure clients and stylists safety and we continue to support our City in hopes to get COVID-19 behind us soon with promise of new vaccines.”
Faraj added: “I do, however, hear from clients that visit our favorite restaurants such as Il Pastaio, Villa Alloro and E. Baldi. They are going to be affected because they have done so much outdoor improvement to accommodate the clients that eat at their establishments. I guess no more late-night dinners after 10 p.m. But this is much better than a full lockdown which I think nobody can handle anymore. Let’s continue to work together and reopen our City.”
Other business owners feel differently.
“Of course, this decision is outrageous,” a Beverly Hills facialist told the Courier. “Medical spas are open where they do Botox, lip injections and laser treatments, as well as dental hygienists working with their patients’ mouths open.”
The increase in COVID-19 cases comes as millions of families are finalizing Thanksgiving plans. On Nov. 13, California’s Department of Public Health issued a travel advisory, urging all travelers entering the state to observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival. The same day, President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to be cautious and limit their celebrations as much as possible.
“There should be no group more than 10 people in one room inside the home,” Biden said. “That’s what they’re telling me.” On Nov. 19, the CDC issued a statement recommending that Americans avoid travel, insisting that the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with members of your household.
“We send our deepest condolences to the many people across our County grieving a family member or friend who has passed away due to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Right now, the kindest thing we can do for our family, friends and neighbors is to protect each other from potentially becoming infected with COVID-19. As cases are surging and hospitalizations are increasing, we need to stay home as much as possible, protect those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions, and stop gathering with people not in our households.”
The Public Health statement of Nov. 19 continued:
“Celebrating the holidays will be very different this year. The safest way is to celebrate only with members of your household, meaning those with whom you currently live with, and to connect virtually with other friends and family who live outside of your household. Other safe options include decorating your home and enjoying a drive around neighborhoods seeing other decorations. Public Health also recommends to shop early for groceries and other needed items to avoid crowds or have groceries delivered to you.”
Health officials continue to stress that it is important if someone thinks they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results, to stay at home and act as if they are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 24 hours after symptoms and fever subside.
If a person has a positive lab result for COVID-19, expect a public health specialist from Public Health to contact them by phone to interview about possible exposures and to identify others who may have also been exposed to the infection. The information is protected and cannot be shared with others except in emergency situations. Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19.
For more information, call 1-833-