Los Angeles County on Friday extended stay-at-home and business-closure orders until May 15, subject to further review, to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus. Pasadena officials, meanwhile, said the city health department’s “Safer at Home” order would continue to remain in place until further notice, and continue to be reviewed periodically.
The city’s first “Safer At Home” order, issued March 19 by health officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, said the new social-distancing rules in the city would continue through April 19 – but not necessarily expire on that date. Further, the order said, “the health officer may revisit, extend, expand, or otherwise modify this order as needed to protect the public’s health.’’
The first revision actually came just three days later, when Goh lined up the city’s plans with those of the state – keeping “Safer at Home” in place in Pasadena “until further notice.”
City spokesperson Lisa Derderian said Friday, “The order has to be reviewed every 30 days, so the actual order is in effect until further notice.’’
Goh, meanwhile, issued a statement to Pasadena Now through Derderian on Friday, saying, “The governor’s stay-at-home order applies to all of us, including L.A. County, and does not expire until rescinded.’’
Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he does not expect to lift the state’s stay-at-home order anytime soon, and that the state is expecting COVID-19 cases to peak sometime in May.
The county’s stay-at-home and business-closure orders had been set to run through on April 19, though that date was always expected to be fluid.
Meanwhile, the county on Friday reported 18 more deaths due to coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 244. County health officials also reported 475 more cases of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to 8,453.
Those numbers include Pasadena cases. Pasadena — which has its own health department — reported two more deaths, giving it a total of seven.
Meanwhile, on Friday said Friday 10 new cases had been reported in the city, bringing the Pasadena total to 117 cases, according to Derderian.
Derderian said Friday that all the Pasadena deaths were associated with long-term care facilities, and were either residents or employees who had underlying health conditions.
County health officials also said that while physical-distancing requirements have dramatically slowed the spread of coronavirus, lifting them now could lead to nearly 96 percent of the population being infected by August.
Citing a detailed analysis of cases to date and modeling of future case projections, county health officials said the numbers show that existing social-distancing practices have “flattened the curve” of infections. But lifting the stay-at-home requirements and business closures would quickly reverse that trend.
“If you were to reduce physical distancing to the pre-health officer order levels, virtually all individuals in Los Angeles County, 95.6 percent per the model, would be infected by the pandemic by Aug. 1, 2020,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services.
“That number is starkly reduced, down to about 30 percent, if we maintain the current levels of physical distancing.
“If we’re able to increase the level of physical distancing – people are able to remain at home more than they are today — then we could reduce the number of infected individuals even further, down to an estimated 5.5 percent,’’ she said.