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California

L.A. County closes all parks on Easter Sunday to slow coronavirus

A chain-link fence was erected to stop people from gathering at Palisades Park.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County officials said all botanic gardens; lakes; and local, community and regional parks will be closed on Easter Sunday in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The move comes as officials have urged the public to stay home this week, including avoiding shopping, as cases and death in the county rise.

“With the top priority being the health and safety of our park guests, team members and community, we made the difficult decision close all L.A. County parks locations,” said Norma E. García, acting director of the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation. “We know Easter is a day of celebration for many park guests and fun tradition for L.A. County Parks, and we appreciate the public’s support and understanding as we collectively work to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.”

Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 22 more coronavirus-linked deaths Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 173, as the number of people testing positive for the illness tops 7,000.

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There are 869 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 43% are older than 65, and 18% are younger than 45. There are 132 people in intensive care.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said 121 institutional settings — including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and skilled-nursing facilities — are under investigation for potential outbreaks after reporting at least one case of the virus. The county’s death toll includes 37 residents of such facilities.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an order Tuesday evening requiring all residents to wear a face covering when visiting the majority of essential businesses in hopes of protecting workers and slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

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Effective Friday at midnight, residents must wear a mask, bandanna or other type of covering over their noses and mouths when in grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, taxis, ride-hail vehicles and several other essential businesses.

“Cover up, save a life — it’s that simple,” Garcetti said.

Also effective Friday, workers at most essential businesses must wear face coverings, which business owners must either provide or reimburse workers for buying.


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