Orange County imposed sweeping restrictions on public meetings as communities across California reported a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
The Orange County order restricts all public gatherings, closes bars that don ‘ t serve food and limits restaurants to takeout service. Elsewhere in the state, several new communities, including Palm Springs and Sacramento, issued shelter-in-place rules.
L.A. County announced it had confirmed cases of the coronavirus, up 53 from Monday.
“We continue to see a huge increase in the number of cases,” public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said during a news conference Tuesday, adding that the rise in numbers is largely due to the increased capacity for testing.
Ferrer stressed the need for people to stay home, including anyone who is sick.
“If you’re sick and you’re an essential worker, please don ‘t come to work, ”she said. “We cannot have people that are sick, even with mild illness, going about their business.”
Officials also announced a moratorium on all no-fault residential and commercial evictions, starting retroactively on March 4 and lasting until May . Tenants will have six months after the end of the emergency proclamation to pay for lost rent, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said.
Additionally, as concern over the coroanvirus grows, officials said there’s been a decline in blood donations . Nearly 728 blood drives have recently been canceled , resulting in 5, fewer blood donations. Officials are asking those who are healthy to continue to make a donation, which has a shelf-life of roughly 50 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed lives in California and prompted officials to take extraordinary measures to try to slow the spread by closing businesses, demanding that older individuals stay home and trying to increase testing for the virus.
Two new deaths were reported Tuesday in California, one in Coachella in Riverside County and a man in his s in Santa Clara County who was hospitalized March 9 and died Tuesday.
More than People from across the state have tested positive for the virus, but officials admit that is just a fraction of the real number. A lack of tests had made it impossible for officials to get a clear handle on the numbers or the spread. To date, roughly 60, people have been tested for COVID – 40 in the US, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Adm. Brett P. Giroir said during a news briefing Tuesday.
President Trump said that all states now have the ability to authorize and use tests.
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Trump also said he spoke with restaurant executives earlier, and stressed the importance of takeout and delivery options and workers who will continue to make those services available, while reiterating the call for people to work from home.
“We’re asking everyone to work at home if possible, avoid unnecessary travel and stop gathering in groups of at least , he said. “By making shared sacrifices and temporary changes, we can protect the health of our people, and we can protect our economy.”
Los Angeles County officials Announced the closure of all bars, fitness centers and movie theaters and directed restaurants to move to takeout only. The directive applies to all 90 cities and unincorporated regions of the county, including Los Angeles, which issued a similar directive Sunday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom made a similar announcement
“We ‘re asking people to shelter in place, to isolate at home, ”Newsom said during an update broadcast on Facebook Live. “The point of gatherings is lost on all of us from a public safety and health perspective. So directing … no gatherings … we think it’s very rational under these circumstances. Disruptive, I know, for some. But rational, we believe, in this moment. ”
Shelter in place, severe restrictions
On Tuesday, Orange County, Ventura County, Monterey County and the central California county of San Benito, just south of Santa Clara County, also announced severe restrictions in an effort to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. To date, 13 counties have issued such orders, with Ventura County’s being somewhat less restrictive than the others.
Ventura County health officials Tuesday issued the restrictions – a misdemeanor punishable by fine or imprisonment if violated – requiring anyone or older, and anyone
or older with an underlying medical condition, to shelter in place at their home starting Wednesday through April 1. Older residents covered by the order are allowed to go outside to seek medical care and food, and to perform essential work in healthcare and government.
The order also requires all restaurants to provide only takeout and delivery. The county also ordered the closure of all bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms, community pools, wineries, breweries and tap rooms that provide tastings.
San Benito County made its decision after identifying a fourth case of coronavirus – a – year-old resident of Hollister who appears to have been exposed while working in Santa Clara County. The patient is isolated in his home.
The order was similar the one issued by six Bay Area counties and Santa Cruz County on Monday. It allows people go out and shop for food, go to the doctor’s office, check on relatives and go outside for exercise, but to otherwise stay home, with exceptions for essential services.
“Even though we Haven’t had as many cases, in San Benito County up until now, there have been numerous cases and evidence of extensive community widespread in Santa Clara County and other counties, ”said Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, the county health officer. “There’s increased risk for people to be exposed in other counties and then to come back into this county.”
Monterey County issued a similar order, enforceable by a fine or jail.
“Now is the time to do everything we can to prevent the situation from getting much worse in a matter of days or weeks. Every hour counts, ”the Monterey County health department said.
In Napa County, where there have so far been no confirmed cases of the virus, public health officer Dr. Karen Relucio issued a health order limiting public and private gatherings. The order is not a shelter-in-place directive, officials said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Orange County issued severe restrictions that prohibits “all public and private gatherings of any number of people, including at places of work, occurring outside a single household” that are considered nonessential.
“We are taking these mitigation steps in line with a directive issued by Governor Newsom to help slow the spread of COVID – , Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick said in a statement. “We recognize community members may experience anxiety related to the social disruption caused by COVID – , and want to encourage residents to reach out to loved ones using appropriate methods like telephone, video messaging, email and text. ”
Also on Tuesday, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes moved to decrease deputies’ contact with the public, closing front lobbies of stations, reducing in-person police reports and suspending visits to the jails.
“Our foremost responsibility is to keep the community safe, while implementing precautionary measures to safeguard the health of the public who rely on our service and the members of the department who respond to their call, ”Barnes said.
All volunteer programs have also been suspended, including senior programs in contract cities and those provided by jail volunteers.
In San Bernardino County , health officials ordered Tuesday afternoon ” the cancellation of gatherings of any number of people within the county starting tomorrow through at least April 6. ”
Like most other orders, it also requires, starting Wednesday, the closing of all movie theaters, gyms , health clubs, bars, adult entertainment establishments and other businesses that serve alcohol but do not serve food.
“I understand this creates hardships for many families and businesses. But at the end of the day I believe we all understand that we are in this together, and that together, we will get through this, ”said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, who announced the order online via a video . “The county is taking every step we can to stay in front of this threat.”
Ventura County Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Buschow said the department has moved deputies from investigative units and increased visibility at food shopping areas as part of its response to novel coronavirus.
He said the department is also screening new inmates in an open area outside the jail for health issues but is continuing at this stage to allow jail visitors. The county has 10 cases of the virus.
Sacramento County announced a partial closure of court operations in order to “ Promote public safety and health while protecting liberty and due process, “officials said.
Court calendars are being reduced to only“ most essential ”and“ mandated ”hearings, and telephone appearances will be used where feasible . The court building that handles traffic cases and small claims is closed, as are self-help centers. Cases deemed essential to public safety or where delay could cause irreparable harm to victims are continuing as scheduled, but nonessential criminal matters will continue in (to 53 days. And the county grand jury is deferred until mid-May.
California Supreme Court and LA County courts previously made similar decisions .
As of Monday night, California had at least 472 confirmed cases. Of those cases, 82 are travel-related, (are person-to-person and
are community transmission. At least cases are under investigation.
More than 17, 823 people who returned to the US through San Francisco International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport are self-monitoring
Riverside County confirmed a third death Tuesday. The first two deaths were linked to the Coachella Valley.
“Sadly, these results are expected as we face a serious challenge and continue to make the necessary decisions to protect the health of the community,” Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said in a statement.
Santa Clara County confirmed two additional deaths, bringing that county’s total to four. And Sacramento County confirmed one person had died, bringing its total to two deaths, both people who were older than and had underlying health conditions.
Officials said that all hospitals were preparing for a surge in patients.
Kern County confirmed its first case of coronavirus Tuesday. The individual is not a resident of the county, public health officials said.
Officials are working to identify potential contacts of the individual and will monitor the health of individuals who traveled with the person in an attempt to prevent any possible community transmission.
In Long Beach, the number of cases rose by three, bringing the city’s total to eight.
The three new cases include two individuals who traveled to locations of known outbreak and one person whose exposure is currently under investigation.
At least 147 people in the city are currently being monitored for the virus.
Millions of families in Los Angeles and across the state were forced to adjust Monday to closed schools, child-care hassles, an uneven move to online learning and a strained social safety net – the education system fallout from an unprecedented effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
LA Unified announced more bad news: District officials late on Monday canceled their innovative effort to offer child-care, counseling and learning materials at new family resource centers, citing health risks.
Instead, 60 “grab-and-go” food centers will be available for school families.
With about 89% of California students out of school, many districts in the state were trying to move toward online education – an especially tall order in a state where % of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals because they are members of low-income homes. In Los Angeles public schools the number is even higher, at 80%; in Compton it’s at 83%; Pomona, %.
Besides the potential for hungry children, in Los Angeles, for instance, this poverty also means that one-quarter of families do not have broadband service and additional families lack adequate data plans or computers needed to support online learning, said LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner.
Times staff writers Cindy Carcamo, Jaclyn Cosgrove, Hannah Fry, Chris Megerian, Luke Money, Paige St. John and Richard Winton contributed to this report.
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