LA County Tightens COVID-19 Restrictions

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Art/Photo by Samantha Takeda

As COVID-19 cases begin to rise in Los Angeles County following major holidays, stricter regulations are being implemented. Residents of LA County are being further encouraged to continue social distancing and mask-wearing to keep safe.

Westley Kim, Staff Writer

   Going out for pizza with friends, meeting at school in-person, going to the movies, and traveling are all things that we miss dearly, but unfortunately, won’t be able to do in the near future. COVID-19 has become increasingly troublesome over time, with thousands neglecting to follow safety precautions in spite of the ongoing pandemic. Because of the consistent refusal by many to practice social distancing, on November 20, LA County established tighter COVID-19 restrictions. 

   These restrictions, according to the LA County website, were aimed mostly at preventing spread of the disease in restaurants and other work establishments. The first stipulation posited by the LA County limits the number of people allowed indoors in non-essential businesses, which includes retail stores, offices, and personal care services. Occupancy is limited to 25%. The number of outdoor restaurant, brewery, and winery patrons must remain at a limited capacity as well — 50%. This percentage is also the same for cardroom, outdoor mini-golf, go-kart, and batting cage customers. 

   Additionally, services at personal care establishments can only be provided by appointments for customers wearing masks, by staff wearing masks; any personal activity that requires either party to remove their mask is not permitted. Food and drinks cannot be served at these establishments to customers. All restaurants, breweries, wineries, and non-essential retail establishments also have to remain closed from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, and outdoor gatherings are the only gatherings allowed, with a maximum of 15 people who are members of no more than three different households. There are also a number of other adjusted guidelines, should the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalized patients rise. 

   Several students believe these rules are important for the safety of the community. Sorina Yang (10), secretary of spirit for West High’s American Red Cross club, said, “The tighter restrictions mean that we seriously need to do our part to slow the spread… These restrictions are significant because just by following these orders, we can actually have the ability to decrease cases and go back to a COVID-free environment.”

   Indeed, it is becoming more apparent that the new restrictions are nothing to scoff at. As Thasuni Bandara (12), treasurer for West High American Red Cross, explained, “The fact that these restrictions are being implemented shows that everyone still has to put in a lot of effort to stay at home, wear masks, and stay safe for themselves and others.” 

   These new restrictions are in place to support and protect our community from the rising numbers of COVID cases in LA County. Bandara went on to explain that “it’s not over yet, even though we wish it was… [Hopefully], we will see COVID numbers go down.” The quickly increasing numbers recently are alarming, but if we follow these extra guidelines, we can help keep ourselves and others out of harm’s way.