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California

L.A. residents told to stay home, avoid shopping to slow coronavirus. Here is what you need to know

Burbank Costco
Customers line up outside a Costco in Burbank on March 13.
(Raul Roa / Times Community News)

Los Angeles County officials have already ordered the closure of beaches, parks, trials and all nonessential businesses in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

But with coronavirus cases in the county now topping 6,000, the Public Health Department offered more restrictive guidance on Monday. Officials urged residents to stay inside this week and avoid shopping if possible.

Here is what you need to know:

What are officials recommending?

The new statement is a recommendation, not a legal order, as is the city and county’s stay-at-home order or California’s stay-home order.

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“If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether,” health department Director Barbara Ferrer said.

If people need to leave their homes for urgent matters, she added, “please make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering if you will be around others, maintain a distance of at least six feet from everyone else, and frequently wash your hands.”

Essential businesses — grocery stores, drug stores, medical offices, pharmacies — remain open.

Why the new recommendation?

Officials said they are concerned over growing spread of the virus.

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Los Angeles County on Monday confirmed 15 new coronavirus-linked deaths, bringing the county’s total to 147, and said the county’s mortality rate had crept up.

Ferrer announced 420 new coronavirus cases in the county, bringing the total to at least 6,360. Twelve of the new deaths were among people older than 65, and seven of those had underlying health conditions. Three people were between the ages of 41 and 65.

With the additional deaths, the mortality rate in L.A. County has increased to 2.3%, Ferrer said, up from 1.8% a week ago.

Under the Safe at Home order:

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What stays open:

  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Essential state and local government functions including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services

What is closed:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention centers
  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Many parks, beaches, trails, recreation areas
  • All other nonessential businesses

Los Angeles prosecutors on Friday filed criminal charges against two smoke shops, a shoe store and a discount electronics retailer, accusing them of refusing to shut down.

What are other jurisdictions doing?

Officials across California are telling residents to stay indoors and leave only for essential trips. Many recommend wearing a facial covering when outside.

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In Riverside County, officials this weekend ordered all residents to cover their faces when leaving home.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser said that despite previous pleas from county officials for residents to socially distance, cover their faces and stay home, “more and more” residents were getting infected with the virus, and “not everyone’s getting the message.”

A new order also bans all gatherings of people except for family members residing in the same home, according to the county’s news release.

The statement said police officers have the power to enforce the orders “as they deem necessary.”


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