LA County ‘safer-at-home’ order extended to May 15

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The curve is flattening in Los Angeles, but the number of people infected could still lead to more deaths

The county of LA’s order requiring residents to stay home—except for outdoor exercise n your neighborhood and critical errands—amid the coronavirus pandemic has been extended to May 15, says Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

“I know many of you were hoping we’d get to the end of April, and we’d be able to lift many of these restrictions, and I’m as sad as you are to note that this is not the time,” she said.

All beaches, trails, and nonessential businesses will remain closed until then, and all gatherings of any size outside your household are still prohibited.

The extension comes in the form of a new health order that also requires essential businesses—such as gas stations, hardware stores, and laundromats—to provide cloth face coverings for all employees to wear when interacting with the public. The city of Los Angeles has a similar order, but it goes even farther: It requires customers to wear face coverings too.

(We’re keeping a running list what is closed and what you’re allowed to do)

Ferrer says the extension is needed even as new data and modeling suggest that physical distancing and public health orders have slowed the spread of COVID-19 in LA.

“Because people are heeding the directives, we have in fact seen what we can now confirm is the flattening of the curve,” she said.

But because so many people have been infected, Ferrer said “we have to continue to keep ourselves physically apart from each other.” To date, the county has confirmed 8,430 cases of COVID-19, including 241 deaths. The first death was reported on March 11.

Angelenos have been living under a “safer-at-home” order since March 16. It was originally set to expire on April 19.

Asked whether all of those closures would lift simultaneously on May 16, Ferrer said she anticipated reopening outdoor spaces and businesses on on a rolling basis.

“I do not anticipate that we will lift all of our restrictions at May 15,” she said. “I do know that every day we get closer to a place and a space where we’re getting closer to relaxing our restrictions.”