Los Angeles residents are ordered to stay in their homes effective immediately as Mayor Eric Garcetti banned all travel including walking, closed non-essential businesses and threatened to arrest anyone breaking the new lockdown rules as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge.
The city, where 4 million residents live, was told the new move was ‘necessary for the protection of life and property in the City of Los Angeles’.
Garcetti urged residents to ‘cancel everything’. He said no one should be hosting gatherings or going to gatherings.
According to the order, ‘all travel, including, without limitation, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit is prohibited’.
However, essential needs such as food, healthcare services, social services and others, are outlined as exceptions in the order.
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Los Angeles residents are ordered to stay in their homes effective immediately as Mayor Eric Garcetti (pictured) banned all travel including walking, closed non-essential businesses and threatened to arrest anyone breaking the new lockdown rules
The city’s statement reads: ‘Our City is now close to a devastating tipping point, beyond which the number of hospitalized patients would start to overwhelm our hospital system, in turn risking needless suffering and death.
‘These unfortunate facts about the spread of COVID-19 in our City mean that we must resume some of the more restrictive measures we instituted in the Spring. The way to avoid that dreaded scenario is clear.
‘We must refrain from gathering with people from outside our household wherever possible. Angelenos have shown what is possible when we cooperate, listen, and protect our family, friends, neighbors, and favorite businesses.
‘This most recent surge in COVID-19 cases presents us with an opportunity to work together, again, to reduce its spread and flatten the curve. We must minimize contact with others as much as possible.
‘Even if you believe that the virus does not present a particular threat to you, consider the impact that your choices have on others.
‘Because COVID-19 can be transmitted by someone who is unaware that she is carrying it, one person could be unknowingly infecting many people if she is not careful. The better we are now at staying apart, the sooner we will be able to come back together,’ the order reads.
According to Garcetti, 2,572 Angelenos were hospitalized as of Wednesday night, which marks a 5.5 per cent increase since Tuesday
The mayor said there are only 479 beds left across the county. At the current rate, health officials are predicting that the county will run out of beds in the next 2-4 weeks
Garcetti said Los Angeles County saw an increase of 5,987 new cases on Wednesday. Of those, 2,119 were from Los Angeles alone
During a press conference, Garcetti said Los Angeles County saw an increase of 5,987 new cases on Wednesday. Of those, 2,119 were from Los Angeles alone.
‘If we stay on this case trajectory, LA’s projected to reach 574,644 cases by the end of the year,’ Garcetti said.
A total of 40 new deaths were added on Wednesday, bringing the overall total to 7,740.
Garcetti said that public health professionals predict 11,130 people in Los Angeles could lose their lives by the end of 2020.
According to Garcetti, 2,572 Angelenos were hospitalized as of Wednesday night, which marks a 5.5 per cent increase since Tuesday.
The mayor said there are only 479 beds left across the county. At the current rate, health officials are predicting that the county will run out of beds in the next 2-4 weeks.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest with about 10 million residents, recorded its highest daily total of cases Tuesday with more than 7,500 and on Wednesday fell just shy of 6,000, still one of the highest to date.
The county’s health director Barbara Ferrer said: ‘We’re seeing terrifying increases in numbers.’
Los Angeles County’s caseload has gone up 225 per cent over three weeks in November, which was reflected in one steep and consistent line rising on a graph used at her briefing.
Ferrer urged everyone to mask up when out of the house for every activity except swimming.
‘We do have a choice to make, each one of us,’ Ferrer said. ‘Do we want to be part of a solution to this horrifying surge or do we want to be the problem? Because where you fall in this effort now has a life-or-death consequence.’
California reports more than 20,000 virus cases in one day
California reported more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, shattering the state’s previous one-day record as Gov Gavin Newsom — himself quarantined at home after his family was exposed — considers a new stay-at-home order.
Following an early summer surge that prompted a new round of restrictions, California’s cases plummeted in August and September.
The state relaxed restrictions, allowing more businesses to operate, indoor religious services to resume and many schools to reopen for classroom instruction.
But new cases have exploded in recent weeks to the point that the state is averaging 15,000 new cases a day and the infection rate has more than doubled.
A record 8,500 people are in the hospital, including more than 2,000 in the intensive care unit, leaving the state with fewer than 2,000 available ICU beds.
Newsom’s own staff has been hit. A member of the governor’s office tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon, the office said. The staffer didn’t have any contact with the quarantined governor but is believed to have come into contact with other staff members, who will begin quarantines, the office said.
Overall, California has reported more than 1.2 million COVID-19 cases and more than 19,300 deaths. The state reported 20,759 new cases on Wednesday, surpassing the previous high of 18,350 set just last week.
Newsom warned Monday that ‘red flags are flying,’ saying if numbers don’t improve he would take ‘drastic action’. Santa Clara County has already imposed new stay-at-home orders.
Newsom is expected to follow suit, perhaps as early as Thursday. The new measures would come during a critical time for retailers and restaurants, which were counting on a robust holiday season to rebound from a year marked by forced closures.
Last month, the state’s beleaguered restaurant and hospitality industry added 66,000 jobs as the state’s unemployment rate dipped below 10 per cent for the first time since March. But new restrictions are threatening those gains.
And the surge of new cases is coinciding with a rash of politicians violating the very rules they are urging the public to follow, cratering their credibility.
State public health officials said Wednesday’s record case total is not a true day-over-day change as the number includes cases from previous days. But they acknowledged the alarming increase.
Experts said the skyrocketing new cases likely don’t yet reflect travel and gatherings around Thanksgiving.
Brad Pollock, associate dean for public health sciences at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, said he expects cases from Thanksgiving to start showing up in hospitals around Christmas.
‘I think the ICUs are going to be very busy during Christmas,’ he said.
California reported 113 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the most since 162 were reported on October 13. Still, Pollock noted the mortality rate has fallen as the virus has infected a younger population.
Newsom was still isolating in his Sacramento-area home on Wednesday after three of his children were exposed to the virus by an infected California Highway Patrol officer. A spokesman for Newsom’s office said the governor would remain at home until the weekend.
The governor has already imposed the toughest restrictions on 51 of the state’s 58 counties comprising nearly the entire state population of almost 40 million, including a 10pm-to-5am. curfew for anything but essential errands and work.
But some local government officials have refused to enforce those rules, including Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who announced Wednesday he had contracted the coronavirus after being close to an employee who had also tested positive.
‘The Sheriff is only one of dozens of Sacramento Sheriff’s Office employees who, despite rigorous institutional safety practices and following all recommended personal safety protocols, have contracted the virus while performing their essential duties,’ sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rod Grassmann said.
Other local governments are imposing their own drastic measures. In Santa Ana, a city of more than 300,000 in Southern California’s Orange County, the City Council voted to authorize a mandatory face mask rule and for the police to enforce it.
‘The public should know there could be consequences if they don’t comply. But we would rather not have to take such actions,’ city spokesman Paul Eakins said.