Los Angeles County’s coronavirus is on the brink of averaging more than 4,000 coronavirus cases a day, which leaves the county on the cusp of a lockdown and curfew, a public health official said Wednesday.
The county announced new restrictions on businesses that go further than statewide guidelines put in place this week after Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was pulling the “emergency brake” on reopening the economy to try to control a surge.
The new regulations are effective Friday and will limit restaurants — to half their outdoor capacity and shut them down at 10 p.m. Nonessential retailers are limited to a quarter of inside capacity.
The changes come as the county has seen its average daily cases nearly triple since Nov. 1 to close to 3,000. The daily case count Wednesday was just below 4,000.
Health officials say that if the county averages more than 4,000 newly reported cases a day or 1,750 hospitalizations, it would end dining and restaurants leaving the only option for takeout and delivery. If cases or hospitalizations reach 4,500 or 2,000, respectively, the county will go on lockdown and impose a curfew for three weeks.
Newsom this week placed most of the state under the strictest rules for reopening, halting indoor worship services, forcing most indoor businesses to close or operate at a fraction of their capacity and keeping most schools closed to in-person instruction. He also joined governors of Oregon and Washington in urging residents not to travel and for anyone to quarantine for two weeks if arriving from another state.
He also strengthened mask-wearing requirements outdoors and said he was also evaluating the effectiveness of curfews.
The more stringent rules going into effect in Los Angeles would limit business operating hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Salons and other personal care services may only be provided by appointment and customers and staff must wear face coverings.