As Covid surges, City of LA issues stay-at-home order

Nonessential businesses limited to 20% capacity, mirroring LA County’s restrictions

Photo illustration of Dr. Barbara Ferrer and Mayor Eric Garcetti (Getty)
Photo illustration of Dr. Barbara Ferrer and Mayor Eric Garcetti (Getty)

The City of Los Angeles issued a stay-at-home order limiting nonessential businesses to 20 percent capacity, mirroring a countywide order that took effect Monday.

The city’s measure, announced Wednesday night, also bars gatherings of people outside immediate households with exceptions for outdoor religious events and political protests, according to the Los Angeles Times. Those are also the same cutouts as the L.A. County order.

Coronavirus cases have exploded in Southern California. L.A. County currently has a 15-day average test positivity rate of 5.1 percent, up 1.6 percent from two weeks ago. Statewide the positivity rate is 6.9 percent.

“Don’t meet up with others outside your household,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said as he announced the tougher measures. “Don’t host a gathering, don’t attend a gathering and follow our targeted safer-at-home order. If you’re able to stay home, stay at home.”

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The measure isn’t as restrictive as the stay-at-home order that went into effect this spring. L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that officials hope the tailored approach means they can avoid a more restrictive order like the previous one, which was imposed as Covid first took hold.

Wednesday’s order allows retail businesses to open after implementing county regulations for in-person shopping. Those rules include regular sanitation, implementation of contactless pay when possible, and symptom checks on customers.

Businesses considered essential are limited to 35 percent maximum indoor capacity, while “lower-risk” retail businesses are limited to 20 percent of maximum occupancy.

Parks, trails, golf courses, tennis courts, and beaches will remain open. Music and television production is also allowed.

Gov. Gavin Newsom this week said he is considering a statewide stay-at-home order as well. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch