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New Safer at Home Order Issued; Director of Public Health Clarifies COVID-19 Recovery Misconceptions
By Betti Halsell Contributing Writer
Published May 13, 2020

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Public Health (Screen Shot)

The County of Los Angeles received news the Safer at Home Order was being extended on Tuesday, May 12. Los Angeles Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer discussed alongside other public officials; it was noted that Ferrer mentioned the unlikelihood in lifting the Safer at Home initiatives due to the inaccessibility to immediate testing. Wednesday, May 13, The L.A. Emergency Operation Center clarified what this means for the residents of Los Angeles. Ferrer cleared the air of what was said yesterday and shared the latest statistics developed by the current test results of COVID-19. There is curiosity surrounding the proposed resources to be a crutch for many Angelenos during this time.

Dr. Ferrer stated, “I want to start by apologizing for the confusion, I inadvertently created yesterday, when I indicated that we would need to continue with the Health Officer Orders through the next few months.” Ferrer continued, “I had no intention of messaging that we weren’t changing our order to reflect our recovery journey, since we are.” The L.A. Public Health Director reflected on last week’s progress of opening businesses with the proper safety measures in place. Ferrer announced a new Health Officer Order, to further “relax an additional set of restrictions.” There is a new social distancing directive, that still upholds the same name as the previous Safer at Home Order.

The Director of Public Health shared the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus.  Dr. Ferrer shared Wednesday, May 13, there were 47 additional deaths, 33 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 30 of them with underlining health conditions. Nine people who died were between the ages of 41-65, eight of them had preexisting health concerns. There was one victim under the age of 41 with underlining health conditions.

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This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 1,659. Ninety percent of the people who died due to COVID-19, had underlining health concerns. Ferrer wanted to emphasize the importance in staying at home to those who have health problems. The directives are in place to prevent a fatal outcome for those who are most susceptible to the virus.

Ferrer disclosed as of May 13, there were 1,264 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 34,428 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. 984 incidents were reported in the city of Long Beach and 593 cases in the city of Pasadena. Among the unsheltered community, the positive case count has reached 257, with 140 victims sheltered and properly isolated.

Under the new Safer at Home Order, there are two additional categories of Lower risk businesses that are approved to be open. All retailers can open for curbside pickup service, with the exception to indoor shopping centers and malls. Manufacturing and logistic brick-and-mortars can reopen to supply and service smaller businesses.

The L.A. Director of Public Health emphasized, the only option for operating is through curbside assistance. The public is not allowed to go into the store during this time. Before the stores become active, Dr. Ferrer stressed that they are required to implement and post compliance to the Health Officer Directives. They must showcase their adherence to the public policy of social distancing. In addition to the new local business clause within the health order, beaches are looking to open this afternoon.

A few noted safety guidelines will be the requirement for masks and lounging on the sand will be prohibited. The Beach will be available for surfing, swimming, and exercise along the bike and walking trails. Other communal spaces set to open after meeting the crowd control criteria, are tennis and pickleball courts, shooting and archery ranges, model airplane areas, community gardens, and bike parks.

Although the Safer at Home Order has not been lifted, it has been adjusted. There is flexibility within the confined initiative, in order to continue moving forward into recovery. Los Angeles is living through a new design of reality, the main goal for all elected officials is finding the balance between economic stability and protecting the well being of every Angeleno.

 

Categories: COVID-19 | Local | News
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