Los Angeles County will extend its stay-at-home order to residents for a further three months to combat the spread of coronavirus, according to the county’s health director. Speaking on Tuesday, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that “with all certainty” the county would need to extend the order through at least July due to the continued spread of the virus.
“We know, with all certainty, that we will be extending health officer orders for at least the next three months. There’s no way unless there was a dramatic change in this virus and the tools that we have at hand to actually fight against this virus, there is no way that we could, in fact, see us not needing to continue with a set of restrictions. I mean, our hope always is that we are able, by using the data, to be able to lift restrictions slowly over the next three months.”
– Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer
In response to residents’ angry and despondent reaction and the trending hashtag #3MoreMonths, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti later issued a statement to clarify that it did not mean residents would be expected to adhere to the same level of severe lockdown for 3 more months.
“I think, quite simply, [Ferrer’s] saying that we’re not going to fully reopen Los Angeles, and probably anywhere in America, without any protections or any health orders in the next three months. We still need to have a public health order because there are some populations who will need to stay at home. … But that doesn’t mean three weeks from now, six weeks from now, two months from now, we won’t continuously edit that order and make sure that we open up safely as much as we can.”
– Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN
LA County has been observing a ‘safer at home’ order since 13th March but in recent days has slowly begun reopening nonessential retailers, trails, golf courses, and some beaches, all with stringent restrictions and social distancing measures in place. The further lifting of restrictions over the next three months will depend on the availability of widespread testing, the LA Times reports.
Los Angeles County has by far been the worst county affected by coronavirus, with 33,281 confirmed cases (almost half of California’s 71,141 cases) and 1,613 deaths (more than half of California’s 2,934).
Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the US state of California, is the most populous county in the United States, with more than ten million inhabitants as of 2018. As such, it is the largest non–state-level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual US states, as well as the combined population of the 10 least populous states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of countries such as Belgium and Norway. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles, it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the US. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California’s most populous city and the second-most populous city in the US, with about four million residents.