Weekend COVID-19 Surge LAR officials discussed amid curfew talk

A fresh surge of coronavirus cases on Saturday and Sunday has alarmed Los Angeles County officials, who say they may consider implementing curfews and other health measures in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The weekend topped 3,000 cases for two consecutive days. County public health officials recorded 3,780 new cases of the virus on Saturday, the most of a day since the peak of the crisis in mid-July. On Sunday, authorities reported 3,061 new cases and three deaths.

Amid the increase, the county’s Department of Public Health is expected to propose a set of recommendations to the Board of Supervisors this week.


The Visual Artists Guild took out a funeral procession of horse-drawn caravans in Pasadena on Sunday, November 15, 2020 under the Colorado Blvd in memory of the victims of COVID-19.

(Alan J. Shaben / Los Angeles Times)

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement Sunday, “Possible options could be establishing a curfew so that businesses do not have to shut down completely again, but be limited to the necessary activities.”

LA County remains in the strictest purple tier of the state’s four-stage reopening plan, meaning many businesses must remain closed for indoor operations. Nevertheless, authorities relaxed some regulations over the past few months, including allowing hair salons and barbershops to operate indoors with some precautions, and family entertainment centers from outside To be reopened.

The increase in new cases may jeopardize those benefits. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said curfew is one of the few options to restrict the operation of the business even more.

“After people drink for a while, maybe they lose prohibition and judgment and therefore possibly curfew can help,” Kuehl said. “But we will have to see if it works in other courts. This can help us keep our businesses open for so long until they are fully compliant. “

According to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times, the seven-day average of new cases has nearly doubled in recent weeks, compared to 1,241.9 cases two days earlier, while 2,371.9 new cases have been reported during the past week.

Although hospitalized people have not reached the levels seen during the summer, when the county hospitals had more than 2,200 confirmed coronavirus patients, the number rose from a low of 687 at the end of September to 1,049 patients by Saturday. Arrived. The increase may outpace the number of available intensive care beds.

According to data obtained from the county, more and more people are on trial during the week ending on 340,636 November 8, the most weekly since the onset of the epidemic.

But a large proportion of those tests are also coming positive, which officials say increased the transmission of the virus. The rate of positivity was around 4% since the end of August, but remained around 6% this week.

“I think it sounds like an alarm for all of us,” LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis said Sunday. “We don’t want to go back. We don’t want to stop everything, but if we don’t have cooperation, that’s what we’re doing.

The prospect of a new, countywide curfew received a wide range of reactions from people on Sunday.

East Los Angeles resident Olivia Sanchez said she thinks a countywide curfew is a good idea if that’s what is needed to slow the spread of coronovirus. Sanchez, 57, said she eats at a restaurant once in the last eight months – and it was outside Denny’s at the time.

A bus driver, Sanchez, said she plans to cook for her family and barbecue in the backyard of her home.

“Whatever she takes,” she said. “I have taken my lysol. I’ve got my wipe. “

Authorities have attributed a number of factors to the increase in new cases, which mirrored the trend felt across the United States. The weather has increased the cold, bringing more people inside. More people are attending small gatherings with family and friends, and when it comes to following public health restrictions, there is an overall feeling of fatigue.

Hancock Park resident Matt Estrada said he worried a new curfew could trigger a public backlash, with some deciding that county health officials have gone too far. If that happens, he said, residents may be in violation of other health measures, such as wearing masks and staying home, he said.

The 55-year-old financial planner said, “Everyone is so excited because it’s been going on for so long and is so weak.” “With any new ban, for a certain number of people, it’s going to be too much for them.”

Estrada, who went to Hollywood on Sunday to take the Costa-19 test, said she and her partner plan to stay home this Thanksgiving, cook without guests and possibly make a zoom call with their two sons. , Who live in other parts of the state. . The risk of traveling to them, he said, is not worth it.

“There’s no reason to do that right now,” he said.

Stuart Waldman, president of Valley Industry and Commerce Assn., Said it is not immediately clear that restaurant and outdoor bars are in great demand for subsequent business hours. He said many dining spots had already curtailed their operations, resulting in patrons serving on parking lots and other outdoor locations.

“If we have to adjust, we have to adjust,” Waldman said. “I think the curfew would be a minor inconvenience.”

Times staff writer Ben Welsh contributed to this report.

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