LA County Stricter Coronavirus Bans: No Gatherings of Any Kind

March 22, 2020
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 13: Seats in a waiting area are cleaned by a member of the custodial staff at Union Station on March 13, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. L.A. Metro custodial staff have enhanced cleaning efforts at major transit hubs in response to COVID-19. The state of California is now reporting 247 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus with six deaths. Many more carry the virus but have not been tested, according to officials. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Following California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide shelter in place order and LA County’s safer at home initiative earlier this week, the Los Angeles County Department of Health has issued stricter regulations effective March 22.

While previously gatherings of up to 10 people were allowed, the new order forbids gatherings of any number. The new order also requires all businesses to shut down in-person operations and be closed to the public, with a few exceptions. It prohibits all public and private gatherings within Los Angeles county, except for Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own health departments and respective orders. Long Beach required personal grooming businesses to shut down on Friday.

Essential businesses located in outdoor malls and shopping centers are authorized to remain open. These businesses must require customers, visitors and workers to be separated by 6 feet. They must also provide hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities to workers and customers as well as post a sign at their entrances telling visitors to leave if they have symptoms of an illness, like a fever or cough. They must also sanitize their locations.

Gatherings that are considered essential and are still allowed include: visiting a health or veterinary care professional, getting medication, getting groceries and caring for vulnerable persons such as minors, the elderly, or those with disabilities. Complying with law enforcement or a court is still deemed essential as is legally mandated acts involving court, social, and administrative services.

Businesses involving groceries, pet supplies and other household consumer products like cleaning or personal care are considered essential, as are those who process and test food, such as farming, livestock, and fishing.

Organizations that provide food, shelter, and social services to the economically disadvantaged or needy are allowed to remain open, including those that provide for those struggling with gang violence, domestic abuse, and homelessness.

Media-related businesses such as newspapers, TV, radio, and podcasts are permitted to be open.

Transportation services such as gas stations, auto supplies and repair, and bicycle services are considered essential.

Financial institutions such as banks will not have to close their doors, and those who provide sanitation and essential operation to properties like plumbers, janitors, security personnel are allowed to continue working. Mail and shipping, laundromats and cleaners, business supplies sellers will continue. Essential personnel in military-related operations are still allowed to leave their homes and provide national security-related services.

The order clarified that personal grooming services such as nail and hair salons, spas, waxing services, and barbershops are “nonessential” and must be officially closed. It also ordered golf courses, indoor malls, and shopping centers to shut down.

Restaurants are permitted to remain open for pickup and delivery. Bars, gyms, and movie theaters are still ordered to close.

Drive-in movie theaters, which some saw as a safer alternative to traditional cinemas, are now also ordered to close.

Walks and hiking trails are allowed, but indoor and outdoor playground are ordered to close, except for those located within childcare centers.

Flea markets and swap meets must close.

The order also put new restrictions on child care, which must be carried out in groups of 12 or fewer, without changing the children in the group. If more than one group of children is being cared for in one facility, they must be kept in separate rooms and not mix, same for the child-care providers.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.