Lincoln Heights Recreation Center Covid testing site

COVID-19 testing site at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center.

Southern California will fall under sweeping new health restrictions late Sunday night to the rapidly increasing number of hospitalizations from the coronavirus, state officials said today, as Los Angeles County saw a record-high number of new COVID-19 cases for the fourth time in the past five days.

A state-mandated "regional stay-at-home" order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, triggered when intensive-care unit bed availability remained below 15% after today's daily update, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Some of the restrictions have already been in place in Los Angeles County. However, the new stay-at-home order is stricter in some in some respects and will force the closure of L.A. hair and nail salons, wineries and the L.A. Zoo. Hotels and motels will be closed to tourists.

The number of shoppers at L.A. markets and other essential retailers will be capped at 20% of regular capacity instead of 35%.

LA restaurants will remain limited to takeout and movie theaters and other entertainment venues shut down.

The new regional stay-at-home order will be in place for three weeks and will bar gatherings of people from different households. Regions will be eligible to exit from the order on Dec. 28 if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.



The state pulled the trigger on the new restrictions Los Angeles County reported 8,949 new cases of COVID-19 and 44 additional deaths today, the highest one-day total of new cases yet.

Hospitalizations continued rising at record levels, with 2,769 county residents hospitalized with the virus as of today, the highest amount of the entire pandemic.

Fatalities are also trending upward: Two weeks ago, the county's average number of daily deaths was 21.

"This week, almost 49,000 people tested positive for COVID-19," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "We can anticipate based on our experience, that 10% of newly infected individuals are likely to require hospital care a couple of weeks from now."

Ferrer warned that "we are likely to bear witness to one of the worst health care crises our county has seen in our lifetime" if residents don't follow the stay-at-home orders.

Los Angeles County reported 8,949 new cases of COVID-19 and 44 additional deaths Saturday, the highest one-day total of new cases yet.

Hospitalizations continued rising at record levels, with 2,769 county residents hospitalized with the virus as of Saturday, the highest amount of the entire pandemic.

The county reported a record 8,860 new coronavirus infections on Friday, along with 148 announced by Long Beach and 93 by Pasadena -- which have their own health departments.

Fatalities are also trending upward: Two weeks ago, the county's average number of daily deaths was 21.

"This week, almost 49,000 people tested positive for COVID-19," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "We can anticipate based on our experience, that 10% of newly infected individuals are likely to require hospital care a couple of weeks from now."

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Ferrer warned that "we are likely to bear witness to one of the worst health care crises our county has seen in our lifetime" if residents don't follow the new orders. 

The county has now logged a total of 439,408 cases of the coronavirus and 7,886 deaths.

Here's a recap of the new Stay-at-Home Order:

Under the order, the following businesses/recreational facilities will be forced to close:

 Indoor and outdoor playgrounds;

• Indoor recreational facilities;

• Hair salons and barbershops;

• Personal care services;

 Museums, zoos, and aquariums;

• Movie theaters;

 Wineries;

• Bars, breweries and distilleries;

• Family entertainment centers;

• Cardrooms and satellite wagering;

• Schools with waivers will be allowed to remain open, along with "critical infrastructure" and retail stores, which will be limited to 20% of capacity.

• Restaurants will be restricted to takeout and delivery service only. Hotels would be allowed to open "for critical infrastructure support only," while churches would be restricted to outdoor only services.

• Entertainment production -- including professional sports -- would be allowed to continue without live audiences.

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