Story by Zoe Schlaak
Illustration by Alicia Zhang
Record high coronavirus cases have prompted L.A. County public health officials to establish new stringent restrictions, including the prohibition of all gatherings that include more than one household, starting on Monday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 20.
Besides faith gatherings and protests, which are First Amendment rights, people can only gather with those in the same household. The L.A. County Public Health Department is also enforcing customer occupancy limits as low as 20 percent at various businesses like retail stores, libraries, and outdoor fitness centers. Outdoor recreation activities are allowed to remain open as long as only one household participates at a time. All school and day camps can remain open if adhering to distancing protocols, but SPHS has not yet communicated if sports practices will continue.
L.A. County health officials also announced that all outdoor dining will be suspended starting Wednesday, Nov. 25. Restaurants will only be allowed to offer takeout or delivery services.
The California Department of Public Health also issued a statewide curfew on Saturday, Nov. 21, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for any counties in the most restrictive tier, which includes L.A. County. Businesses must be closed during the curfew.
South Pasadena has a total of 399 cases as of Saturday, Nov. 28 with 26 deaths, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. This is an increase of 22 cases locally in the past six days.
L.A. County planned for further restrictions if the five-day new case average exceeded 4,500. The most recent five-day average was 4,751, prompting the latest health mandate. Local residents emphasize the need for the new restrictions and the importance for everyone to stay safe.
“I think that the surge shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” SPHS alumna Ashley Fox said. “People are being reckless in college and then coming back home to be even more reckless around their families and friends. Restrictions are incredibly necessary and should have happened sooner. I will be disappointed not to be able to see my friends but I know [staying home] is the best thing to do right now.”