Angelenos — you might want to sit down. If you’ve been looking east at the lax lockdown measures of other states as they begin to slowly open up or planning active recreation beach trips as we inch closer and closer to summer, you might want to slow your roll for a second. And by “for a second,” we mean like three months. If we’re lucky.
Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has indicated that the county’s stay-at-home order will be extended for the next three months “with all certainty,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
During a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Ferrer indicated that the three-month timeline would only change if there was a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand,” reiterating the crucial need for widely available testing and rapid at-home solutions that would allow people to test themselves on a daily basis. Ferrer’s comments came shortly after the nation’s top infectious disease expert — and your mom, aunt, and older cousin’s new crush — Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Congress that pushing to reopen too quickly would reverse progress made through social distancing and trigger another outbreak.
While Ferrer’s comments don’t signify an official order, it’s unlikely that LA County will further lift restrictions considering California’s aggressive science and data-driven approach to mitigating the virus thus far. In Los Angeles, new coronavirus cases have been averaging between 500 and 1,000 new cases per day for the last two weeks, and while new cases and deaths in the county are trending downwards, it still doesn’t meet the criteria of a 14-day decline in cases that Dr. Fauci has signified as a major checkpoint states should watch for when reopening.
Just this week, LA County lifted restrictions on hiking trails, parks, and golf courses, and will be expanding curbside pickup at various nonessential businesses that had remained closed until recently. Ferrer has indicated that a further loosening of the rules will continue, but it will be a slow and gradual process throughout the next three months.