L.A. County Imposes New COVID Restrictions. Is Another Shutdown Coming?

L.A. County cities must abide by new public health restrictions as of this Friday, November 20. The county announced the new safeguards Tuesday following a rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations.

The following rules will take effect Friday:

  • Non-essential businesses such as retail stores, offices, and personal care services will be limited to 25% maximum capacity. If a personal service requires removal of a face mask (e.g. shaving or facials) it is not permitted.
  • Outdoor restaurants, breweries and wineries will be limited to 50% capacity. They must close at 10 p.m.
  • Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 15 people belonging to no more than 3 households.

If the county’s five-day case average hits 4,000 or hospitalizations exceed 1,750 per day, additional restrictions will be put in place. These include removing dine-in options entirely and making restaurants delivery or take-out only. A Safer at Home Order will be instituted for three weeks if cases reach 4,500 per day or hospitalizations exceed 2,000 per day.

"This is a different kind of moment, a new level of danger,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “If we don’t make these decisions now, there really is only one outcome: We will almost certainly have to shut things down again. And more people will get sick and die.”

The average number of daily cases has tripled in the last month, according to the Los Angeles Times. Viral spread is most acute in the San Fernando Valley, East Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley, the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys, Santa Clarita and southeast Los Angeles County. The county is already in the state’s most severe tier.