Los Angeles County issued a second stay-at-home order on Friday evening as coronavirus cases rise.
The three-week order takes effect Monday and will expire on Dec. 20. The five-day average of new cases in the county is 4,751, which crossed the marker the county had set for imposing another stay-at-home order.
The county’s Department of Public Health has urged residents to stay home “as much as possible” and to “always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth” when outside, according to the Los Angeles Times. All public and private gatherings that are not with people who live in the same house are banned under the order, but protests and religious services are exempt.
“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, according to the Associated Press. “Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge.”
There were 1,893 people hospitalized with the virus on Friday when the stay-at-home order was issued. On Oct. 27, there were 747 people hospitalized with the coronavirus.
The order requires essential retail stores to cap their occupancy at 35% capacity, while nonessential stores have to do the same but at 25%. Other activities, such as outdoor fitness centers, museums, galleries, and zoos, have to cap occupancy at 50% capacity.
It does not change the process for reopening schools.
“Two months ago, it was projected that one in every 880 L.A. County residents were infected with COVID-19. Now, it’s estimated it’s one in every 145,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
To date, Los Angeles County has had more than 387,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 7,600 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.