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Los Angeles County officials announced Monday that all bars, gyms and entertainment venues will be closed and dining at restaurants will be banned as the number of novel coronavirus viruses in the county has increased by two dozen more.
The 25 new cases of COVID-19 bring the total in LA County to 94, public health officials said at a press conference. The number of cases is starting to accelerate, with 41 reported in the past 48 hours.
Amid the increase, the county took the drastic step of temporarily closing all bars, nightclubs, fitness centers, cinemas and entertainment venues, as well as limiting restaurants to take-out and delivery only. The order was announced at the press conference by LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
It comes less than a day after Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a similar one for the city of Los Angeles.
In Long Beach, Mayor Robert Garcia announced on Monday rules in line with county restrictions, adding that street sweeping parking tickets would be suspended for a week “until we come up with a bigger and better parking management plan.”
Authorities hope that by limiting large gatherings and encouraging the practice of social distancing, the public can help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will not be affected.
Garcetti released the city directive just hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the temporary closure of all bars and wineries in the country’s most populous state.
Newsom also urged high-risk populations, such as people over 65 and anyone with a chronic health condition, to self-isolate at home.
As part of that effort, all buildings in LA County were closed to the public starting Monday. Most schools in the area have also been temporarily closed. This is in addition to sporting events, concerts and festivals that have been canceled, as well as theme parks, museums and other popular tourist sites that have been closed.
Dr Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, acknowledged the significant disruption to people’s daily lives, but stressed that social distancing remains the best tool to prevent coronavirus in the absence of vaccine.
She also encouraged people not to participate in any non-essential activities at this time.
Even in towns across the county with no diagnosed cases, Herrer warned the public not to be complacent about the virus’s ability to spread.
“We are in a new stage of the response and everyone must help us. Everyone should take care in everything you do, ”she said. “And you have to assume that you have to take these precautions wherever you go.”
Of the more recent diseases, five have an unidentified source of exposure, leading authorities to assume they were contracted through community spread. The source of 17 others is also under investigation.
Two of the 25 patients announced on Monday have been hospitalized, Ferrer said. She did not provide their terms.
Also on Monday, UCLA said one of its staff tested positive for the disease. The person does not work or live on campus and has isolated themselves, the university said.
“We are determining if there are any members of the UCLA community who need to be notified of their contact with our staff member, and if so, we will activate our notification process accordingly,” Chancellor Gene wrote. Block in a letter to the campus community. “Please be aware that if it is necessary for someone to be isolated or tested, they will be contacted.”
All patients with confirmed cases have been isolated and their close contacts quarantined.
“COVID-19 knows no borders or limits in terms of spread,” Herrer said. “And just because you don’t see cases in your community on the list today – number one, doesn’t mean you aren’t going to see cases there tomorrow and, more importantly, that doesn’t mean not that there isn’t. t people in your community who may in fact be infected with COVID-19 and who simply have not been diagnosed. ”
Local, state and federal health officials have said they anticipate a continued increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 as testing across the country intensifies.
The last digits of the Disease Control Centers and Monday’s mid-afternoon prevention shows that there are 3,487 diagnosed cases in the United States, with 68 deaths. LA County has reported one death.
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