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Public Policy Newsletter Article

Regional Governments Announce Enhanced COVID-19 Related Restrictions

  • 2020-12-03T16:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Melanie Cohn

Counties across California enacted stricter COVID-19 restrictions this week as cases surge statewide and Thanksgiving travelers return home. Governor Newsom indicated a new stay-at-home order is possible if the increase in cases and hospitalizations continues. He said on Monday that hospitalizations increased 89% statewide over the previous 14 days.

Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, imposed new rules calling for its 10 million residents to stay home “as much as possible,” prohibiting them from gathering with people outside of their households for public or private occasions — except for faith-based services and protests. LA remains in the state’s most restrictive purple tier.

On Wednesday, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an even more restrictive Stay at Home Order. It mandates all residents of the City of Los Angeles stay in their homes, except for specific occupations and activities. First among the exceptions:

“All healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical and scientific research, laboratories, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, veterinary care and pet day care providers, mental and behavioral health providers and support groups, substance use providers and support groups, physical therapists and chiropractors, cannabis dispensaries, blood and blood product donation organizations, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services, manufacturers and suppliers.”

In the Bay Area, Santa Clara County banned all high school, collegiate and professional sports and imposed a quarantine for people traveling to the region from areas more than 150 miles away.

San Francisco and San Mateo counties moved to the purple tier. As a result, the counties must now join most of the rest of the state’s limited stay-at-home order, which requires that “non-essential work, movement, and gatherings,” including outdoor dining, cease between 10pm and 5am from November 30 until December 21. Marin remains the only Bay Area county in the less restrictive red tier.

In San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the new 150-foot Ferris wheel named SkyStar closed Sunday under the new tier’s restrictions. The wheel was supposed to be the centerpiece of the park’s 150th anniversary and was only approved to open in late October. No reopening date has been announced.

San Diego County officials have so far not released any of their own heavier restrictions along the lines of Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but this could change at any moment.

51 of the state’s 58 counties are now in the purple tier.