Los Angeles health official says county to stay locked down through July
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LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Los Angeles residents’ hopes of going back to their normal lives anytime soon were dashed Tuesday when county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer declared that the local stay-at-home order would “with all certainty” remain in effect at least through the end of July.
“Our hope is that by using the data, we’d be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months,” Ferrer said at a board meeting, The Hill reported. But for now, “it’s safer to stay at home. COVID-19 has not changed.”
The county reopened its beaches in a limited capacity Wednesday, permitting “active recreational activities” such as swimming and walking but not relatively stationary ones such as sunbathing or volleyball. Masks are mandatory except when in the water.
The Los Angeles timetable is consistent with the California Department of Public Health’s long-term reopening plan, which calls for a modest lifting of certain restrictions over the course of weeks while stressing that more significant resumptions of normal life – including in-person church services – are still “months” away.
As of May 14, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 1.4 million cases of COVID-19, with more than 85,000 deaths and 310,000 recoveries. California is the fifth-most impacted state, with 73,143 cases and 2,974 deaths. Los Angeles County has seen 34,428 cases and 1,659 deaths, more than half the state’s total.
Almost half of all COVID-19 deaths in California come not from healthy people maintaining active lifestyles but from nursing homes. Yet many of the state’s response efforts have targeted groups and activities with little-to-no risk, from ticketing residents for standing outside abortion centers to forbidding singing even in online church services.
Other medical experts argue that the evidence warrants a strategy more narrowly targeted toward protecting the elderly and immunocompromised while allowing the younger and healthier to go about their lives. “If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1 percent down to fractions of a percent,” says Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.