LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County has extended its safer-at-home order through May 15, 2020, as the initial order was set to expire on April 19.
County health officials state that the current social-distancing practices have “flattened the curve” of COVID-19 spread however, health officials believe that if the safer-at-home order is lifted on April 19th, the trend of improvement would quickly reverse.
“If you were to reduce physical distancing to the pre-health officer order levels, virtually all individuals in Los Angeles County, 95.6% per the model, would be infected by the pandemic by Aug. 1, 2020,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services. “That number is starkly reduced, down to about 30%, if we maintain the current levels of physical distancing.”
Prior to Easter Sunday, the county issued the closure of all public parks to ensure the practice of social distancing. With the extended safer-at-home order, families will likely be under the same guidelines for Mother’s Day, which falls on May 10.
County officials added that all current closures in place, including beaches, parks and trails, will continue to remain closed.
The closure now requires all essential businesses to provide employees with cloth-face coverings, which they will be required to wear while they work. It will also require that all essential businesses post information about social distancing requirements at each of their establishments. Those additional measures take effect next Wednesday, according to Public Health.
The order also requires anyone who enters an essential business to wear a cloth face-covering in order to keep both themselves, and the essential workers, safe.
Public Health officials said that children 2 and under should not wear face coverings.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced an additional 18 COVID-19 deaths since the day prior, bringing the county’s total number of deaths to 241.
Of the newly reported deaths, 10 were over the age of 65, seven were between the ages of 41 and 65 and one was between the age of 18 and 40. Ferrer did not specify whether or not these individuals had underlying health conditions.
Echoing guidance from the White House, Ferrer on Monday said people should try to avoid leaving their homes altogether for the next two weeks as the pandemic is expected to worsen across the country.
“If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether,” she said.
RELATED: Health officials advice to avoid grocery stores, pharmacies as peak of COVID-19 pandemic looms
Public Health advised residents against leaving their homes for groceries or medications, encouraging residents to arrange to have them delivered instead, if necessary.