LA mulls tougher Covid restrictions on malls, retailers
County now averaging 240 coronavirus deaths a day
With Los Angeles County now averaging 240 Covid deaths a day, tougher restrictions on businesses could be on the way to slow the spread, which could affect indoor malls, outdoor gyms and other retailers.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would support such an order that could involve limiting customer capacity, which the county Department of Public Health is mulling, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As it stands, indoor malls and retailers are instructed to operate at 20 percent capacity, while outdoor gyms can operate at 50 percent capacity. But not all businesses have been adhering to the orders.
County health officials have cited six malls — some of them multiple times — for violating coronavirus safety protocols since Black Friday. Craig Realty’s Citadel Outlets in Commerce was cited on four different occasions and Rick Caruso’s Grove mall in Fairfax was cited twice, among others. L.A. health officials have issued 526 citations to businesses for Covid violations since the end of August 2020, including 157 since Dec. 1.
Garcetti on Thursday said additional closures may not be necessary if cases level off, “but the moment it goes up, like we saw in December — at any pace like that — absolutely, that is something we cannot sustain and most importantly, our hospitals cannot,” according to the Times.
The report noted more than 2,000 Covid deaths countywide in the past two weeks. Late last month, the state extended stay-at-home orders for most of California, including the ban on outdoor dining. [LAT] — Alexi Friedman