HomeState Lifts Stay-at-Home Order

State Lifts Stay-at-Home Order

Citing a projection that showed capacities of hospital intensive care units improving to approximately 33% by Feb. 21, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday lifted California’s stay-at-home orders.
In response, Los Angeles County reverted to the Health Officer Order it issued on Nov. 25 while anticipating a new order scheduled to be released Friday — one that is expected to allow outdoor dining at restaurants.
The county Department of Public Health said activities that are permitted immediately include small, outdoor gatherings of no more than 15 people and three households, while personal care services may be offered indoors at 25% of a business’ capacity. Outdoor operations of family entertainment centers, museums, zoos, fitness centers, and recreational activities at 50% capacity are allowed as well.
Also permitted: the reopening of hotels and motels for tourism and individual travel.
“This announcement shows that there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” said San Marino Fire Chief Mario Rueda. “I am told that the vaccine prevents hospitalization and deaths 100%. If we can just hold on for another couple months and get our senior residents through the vaccine process, we will likely see fewer deaths due to this terrible virus. Age is the most significant risk factor with COVID.”
While the COVID infection rate has slowed, Rueda said the disease is increasing in voracity.
“Although the number of new cases of COVID patients requiring hospitalization is declining each day, the demands on hospitals remain high,” said Rueda, who is also the city’s emergency manager. He referenced a conference call on Monday hosted by Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services, the branch that governs all protocols of emergency patient care. “The illness severity in hospitalized patients has been very high, with increased needs for ICU, mechanical ventilation and higher mortality.”
Rueda also said that data modeling suggests that about .77% of the county’s population is currently infected with COVID and is infectious to others.
“That’s about 1 in 130 Los Angeles County residents,” said Rueda. “Last week it was 1 in 115. Approximately 1 in 3 persons in Los Angeles County has been infected with COVID since the start of the pandemic.”
According to statistics based on the period from Nov. 3 to the present, each COVID patient admitted to the hospital requires an average of 9.49 days in the hospital, 2.38 days in the ICU and 1.89 days on a mechanical ventilator, and has approximately a 23% chance of dying.
“These changes, despite improvement in treatments, suggest a substantial increase in the severity of illness among hospitalized patients,” Rueda said.
“COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health, in a press release announcing the decision. “Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains.”
There have been over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases in L.A. County and at least 15,260 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, according to the county Public Health.
Though encouraged by the recent news, Rueda suggested that residents continue to avoid all gatherings and crowds, shop only for essentials and at off hours, avoid visiting others or having them visit you, avoid eating or drinking in the presence of others not in your household, continue a policy of washing and sanitizing your hands every hour when around others, and wear a face covering in your home if you live with individuals who are elderly or have health conditions.
“The San Marino Fire Department, as always, reminds all residents to wear your face coverings and maintain physical distancing whenever you leave your home,” said Rueda.

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