May 13, 2020

USA: LA County Health Director Who Earns $553,249 Per Year Is Extending Stay At Home Orders For Another 3 Months. LA Mayor Says City Will Not Be Completely Open Until We Have A Cure

Fox11 News, Los Angeles local
written by y Mary Stringini
Wednesday May 13, 2020

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County officials announced a new "Safer-at-Home" health officer order Wednesday, two days before the county's initial order was set to expire.

County officials said they continue to refer to the orders as "safer-at-home" because currently, residents are safer when they stay home.

"While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will be gradually relaxed under our 5-stage Roadmap to Recovery, while making sure we are keeping our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic,” said the county's Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer said the new health officer order does not have an end date, but it will be modified to loosen restrictions as it is warranted.

“It is still safer to remain at home, COVID-19 has not changed,” she said.

She also explained that some of the county’s dates for phases of reopening might not coincide with those of the state.

“Literally half the cases and half the deaths are happening in LA County right now,” Ferrer noted earlier this week.

Under the new order, there are two additional categories of "lower risk businesses" that are now permitted to reopen as long as they meet the county's requirements, which are listed on Public Health's website.

Those categories include all retail businesses, excluding those located inside a shopping center or mall, for curbside, door-side, outside pickup, or delivery only. It also includes manufacturing and logistic businesses that supply to those lower-risk businesses.

Ferrer also announced that additional outdoor recreational areas would be allowed to reopen, including tennis courts, pickleball courts, shooting ranges, equestrian centers, bike parks, community gardens and model airplane sites.

"Everyone must continue to practice physical distancing of at least six feet apart and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when around people outside of your household," the order states.

The new health officer order continues to prohibit gatherings of any size, outside of your immediate household.

Ferrer provided some reassurance Wednesday, stating that the actions residents have taken over the last two months are, in fact, saving lives.

“If everybody hadn’t done their part... if people hadn’t stayed home... we would’ve had many, many more cases and we would’ve had many, many more deaths," she said.

On Tuesday, Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors that the order was likely to be extended, in some capacity, unless county health officials saw a major change in the fight against the deadly virus.

"There's now no way, unless there was a dramatic change in ... this virus and the tools that we have at hand to actually fight against this virus, there's no way that we could in fact see us not needing to continue with a set of restrictions,'' Ferrer said.

Such "dramatic change" would have to include a reliable vaccine, at-home daily testing for COVID-19 and treatment for the infection, she said.

The county continued to relax some of the stay-at-home restrictions Wednesday, allowing county beaches to reopen for active use only if residents wore facemasks and socially distanced themselves from one another.

On Friday, the county allowed certain retail stores to reopen for curbside pickup with social distancing and reopened a majority of the county's hiking trails to residents who wore face-coverings and maintained six feet of space from others.

The county on Wednesday reported 1,264 new coronavirus cases an 47 additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 34,428 cases and 1,659 deaths.

Of the newly reported deaths, 33 were individuals over the age of 65, 30 of which had underlying health conditions. Nine individuals were between the ages of 41 and 65, eight of which had underlying health conditions. One individual with no underlying health conditions who died was between the ages of 18 and 40. The data on the remaining cases was not immediately available.

Approximately 92% of all county residents who died from the virus had underlying health conditions. County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, said this emphasizes the county's need to protect those with underlying health conditions and urges those residents to stay at home as much as possible.

She said this includes, but is not limited to, individuals with asthma, those who have had cancer, anyone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and anyone who is immune-compromised.

"If you're part of one of these groups, you need to take every precaution imaginable to protect yourself from COVID-19," said Ferrer.

According to Public Health, 5,596 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 at some point required hospitalization during their battle with the illness. There are 1,763 individuals currently hospitalized in the county with the virus, Ferrer said.

Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for over 263,000 individuals and 11% of those people testing positive.

While LA County officials have not released data on the number of COVID-19 patients that have recovered from the virus within the county, John's Hopkins University reports that more than 230,000 patients have recovered nationwide.

Public Health said that based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are now requiring anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days and 72 hours after fever and symptoms subside.

"New evidence suggests it may take longer for the virus to shed, which means that an infected person may be able to infect other people for a longer period of time than was initially thought," Public Health wrote in a news release. "This means you must stay home until your fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and there is improvement in your respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) for at least three days (72 hours) after recovery, AND at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared or you were tested."

Public Health continues to stress to the public that while a majority of those who have died from COVID-19 in the county had underlying health conditions, not everyone does. Residents are urged to continue to take the necessary precautions in order to protect themselves from the virus.

Health officials say that social distancing remains our best defense against the virus, and all residents are instructed to abide by current measures in place across the state. Social distancing is not only about preventing the illness itself, but rather, slowing the rate at which people get sick.
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Just The News
written by Sophie Mann
Wednesday May 13, 2020

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says that stay-at-home orders in the city will “with all certainty” be extended for the next three months, through August.

Mayor Eric Garcetti walked back some of Ferrer’s comments during an ABC "Good Morning America" segment on Wednesday morning. He insisted that the comments were taken out of context and referred mostly to continuing to take precautions like social distancing, working from home, and wearing masks.

LA has “never been fully closed,” and will “never be completely open until we have a cure,” said the mayor.

He added, “we’re not moving beyond COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it."

Coronavirus cases in LA fall just short of 35,000.
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Fox News published May 7, 2020: Mohave Arizona sheriff, Doug Schuster, defends his decision to not enforce the state's stay-at-home orders. 'This is not the country I grew up in'.
UPDATE 5/13/20 at 10:38pm: Added info below.
Los Angeles Mayor suddenly cares about laws? If Mayor Garcetti is threatening to have us taxpayers arrested for not wearing a mask outside of our home, then he better start arresting every damn homeless person violating the city ordinance Municipal Code (L.A.M.C.) section 41.18 it is a criminal offense to sit, lie, or sleep on a public sidewalk anywhere in the city. No person shall stand in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public way open for pedestrian travel or otherwise occupy any portion thereof in such a manner as to annoy or molest any pedestrian thereon or so as to obstruct or unreasonably interfere with the free passage of pedestrians. The homeless are also defecating, urinating, creating garbage heaps, allowed to steal from stores and homes without any penalties. (emphasis mine)
UPDATE 5/14/20 at 11:54am: Added info below.

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