COVID-19 cases are spiking in Long Beach and Los Angeles County, and officials have quickly adjusted health orders in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.
Here’s a summary of the new restrictions announced this week.
On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a mandatory curfew for all counties in the “purple tier”—meaning the virus is widespread—for the next month. Starting Saturday at 10 p.m., nonessential work and gatherings must stop from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
While nonessential businesses must close by 10 p.m., restaurants will be permitted to offer takeout food and people can perform some routine activities like walking the dog, officials said. They will still be able to get medical care, pick up prescriptions and take care of other essential needs.
Los Angeles County, which includes Long Beach, is in the purple tier—and the situation here is growing worse.
The city of Long Beach issued new rules Wednesday night, which are largely the same as Los Angeles County’s.
- Personal gatherings are allowed outdoors only, with a maximum of three households and 15 total people from those households.
- The gatherings should be limited to two hours or less, and attendees must follow mask and social distancing rules.
- Officials still urge residents to avoid gathering with people outside their households at all, including for the upcoming holidays.
- In-person religious or cultural services are still allowed, as long as they’re outdoors and follow all the city guidelines.
- Indoor nonessential businesses, like retail stores, offices and personal care services are limited to 25% occupancy.
- Outdoor service at restaurants, wineries and breweries are limited to 50% of the maximum outdoor capacity by separating tables by 8 feet. Officials said this spacing is required to ensure that customers can sit 6 feet from workers when they take their orders and work around them.
- Restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars that serve sit-down, dine-in meals, as well as nonessential retail businesses, must close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. The city even specified that the last customer must be seated and finish their meal in time for the business to be completely closed by 10 p.m.
- Outdoor family entertainment centers, like miniature golf sites, parks and batting cages are limited to 50% of maximum outdoor capacity.
- Personal care services, like those at nail and hair salons, barber shops and massage establishments, can be performed only by appointment and customers and staff must wear face coverings for the entire service. Services that require either the customer or staff to remove face coverings, like facials and shaves, are not allowed. Also, these businesses aren’t allowed to offer customers food or drinks on site.
- Gyms and fitness facilities are still allowed to operate outdoors.
Los Angeles County
County officials said earlier this week that if COVID-19 numbers rose to certain levels, stricter measures would be enacted:
- If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars would be prohibited. These businesses would only be able to offer pick-up and delivery.
- If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, then a stay-at-home order similar to that issued in March would be instituted for three weeks. The order would only allow essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.
Though Long Beach operates its own health department and can make different rules, it has largely followed the lead of the county.
On Tuesday, Orange County and dozens of other counties were bumped back to the strictest “purple” tier that bans indoor dining, most in-person school classes and other higher-risk activities.
Here’s what that means for businesses just south of Long Beach:
- Nonessential retail, including shopping malls, must operate at a maximum of 25% capacity, instead of 50%.
- Museums, zoos and aquariums can only operate outdoors.
- Worship services can only be held outdoors.
- Gyms and fitness centers can only operate outdoors.
- Movie theaters can only operate outdoors.