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County infections, deaths rise to largest amount of year


At the beginning of the week, Los Angeles County had reported 5,014 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 additional deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 395,843 cases and 7,639 deaths as sweeping new health orders intended to halt the recent surge in cases go into effect.

The number of county residents hospitalized with the virus rose from 1,951 Saturday to 2,049 Sunday, surpassing the 2,000 mark for the first time since the summer. Of those hospitalized, 24 percent are in intensive care.

Health officials are urging people to stay at home as much as possible over the next two weeks.

“We have done this successfully before and we can do it again,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said of efforts to stem the surge in new cases, deaths and hospitalizations.

The new measures remain until at least Dec. 20, according to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

The additional safety modifications include the following changes to the existing Health Officer Order:

—Gatherings: all public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for church services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.

—Occupancy limits at various businesses; all individuals at these sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance from others:

—Essential retail: 35 percent maximum occupancy;

—Nonessential retail (includes indoor malls): 20 percent maximum occupancy;

—Personal care services: 20 percent maximum occupancy;

—Libraries: 20 percent maximum occupancy;

—Fitness centers operating outdoors: 50 percent maximum occupancy;

—Museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors: 50 percent maximum occupancy;

—Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors: 50 percent maximum occupancy.