Los Angeles County health officials announced another 1,011 cases of COVID-19 and 44 additional deaths today, while hiking trails and parks were reopened one day after the county allowed select retail businesses to reopen with curbside service.
Officials warned in easing some restrictions that the pandemic is far from over, and those words were backed up by Saturday's daily update, which brought the county's coronavirus toll to 31,197 cases and 1,512 fatalities.
"Many people in our community are experiencing profound loss because their loved ones have passed away from COVID-19. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers every day," said Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director.
The danger of easy transmission was highlighted today when Pasadena officials reported that a cluster of COVID-19 cases was traced back to a recent birthday party in the city. At least five people at the party tested positive and many more reportedly have symptoms.
"If you are out and about this weekend, please take every precaution since anyone of us, even if we are not sick, could be infected with COVID-19 and capable of infecting others," Ferrer said.
Despite the relaxation of restrictions, people still protested outside Getty House, the Windsor Square residence of Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Protesters gathered about 2 p.m. at the mansion at Sixth Street and Irving Boulevard and dispersed without incident at about 3:30 p.m., Officer Mike Chan of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section told CNS.
City and county hiking trails in Los Angeles reopened today, but the popular Runyon Canyon trail and all beaches remain closed.
County parks officials urged residents not to visit trails if they are sick or exhibiting any sign of illness. People who do hike on the trails should do so only with members of their household, and hikers should bring water, hand-sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes, park officials said.
City and county golf courses also reopened with restrictions, but pro shops remain closed and golf course restaurants are restricted to carry-out service only.
County parks were originally expected to be closed for Mother's Day on Sunday, but they will now remain open, although large gatherings will be prohibited and social-distancing mandates will be in effect.The parks will be open for "passive use, such as walking, jogging and leisure time outdoors for individuals or families."
"Since the holiday is one of the busiest days of the year, L.A. County Parks reminds all park guests that social distancing is required and group gatherings are prohibited by the health order," according to the department.
The county's four botanical gardens -- the county Arboretum and Botanic Garden, the South Coast Botanic Garden, Descanso Gardens and Virginia Robinson Gardens -- will all be closed Sunday.
All beaches in the county remain off-limits, although planning is continuing for a possible reopening by late next week. Long Beach will reopen its beach walking/bike paths Monday, although the beaches themselves will remain closed.
Public Health has issued the following guidance for people with mild illness during this time of increased spread:
• Stay at home whenever possible and practice social distancing -- keep at least six-feet away from others when you leave your home.
• Wash your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when water is not available.
• The general public should wear non-medical face coverings when interacting with others while obtaining essential supplies and services. You should not purchase hospital-grade masks, which are in short supply and desperately needed in hospitals. People can use scarves or other fabric, suggesting that people go online for instructions on how to fashion a homemade mask.
• If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days and until 72 hours after being fever and symptom free. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick.
Additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website.