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In an effort to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19, Los Angeles County health officials announced in Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that they are recommending that stay-at-home orders could be extended three more months if conditions do not change. 

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged that a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand” was needed. 

According to Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, fervor around the statement is due to it being taken out of context. Barger provided the following statement late Tuesday afternoon: 

“During today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Dr. Barbara Ferrer indicated that the county’s health officer order would be in place over the next few months. Unfortunately, this statement was taken out of context and has understandably caused great concern by the public. Relaxing the restrictions in the ‘Safer at Home’ order is an important focus for the county, which will be done gradually over the next few months.”

Barger continued, clarifying: “I am eager to reopen more of L.A. County as soon as it’s safe to do so, in collaboration with our health experts, community leaders, businesses and residents, with best practices in place to ensure our overall health and well-being. These decisions will be guided by the latest science and data collected. I’m confident that the more our communities continue to comply, the sooner we can resume normalcy.”

There has been no official extension at this time, as the public health crisis is rapidly evolving. 

L.A. is currently in stage two of the county’s five-stage “Roadmap to Recovery” plan, where minor adjustments to the order have been made to allow certain retailers to open for curbside service and car dealership showrooms to reopen using strict precautionary measures. Stage two has also opened up hiking trails and golf courses, though restrictions still apply for some facets of each. According to the Public Health website: Until stage five is reached, Health Officer Orders and directives will continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 to prevent an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 cases at healthcare facilities.

“Each day, we know there are people across our community who are experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved one to COVID-19. We are so sorry for your loss, and we wish you peace and healing,” said Ferrer.

“Later this week, we will be issuing a new Health Officer Order that continues to lay out directives that need to be followed as we continue on our recovery journey,” she continued. “Our journey will be slow and we will be looking closely at key indicators to make sure we are continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Thank you so much for working together and doing your part. Your actions have been working and saving lives.”

As of press time, Los Angeles County is reporting 33,180 cases of novel coronavirus, with a total of 1,613 deaths. 

For more information about the Safer at Home order, L.A.’s Roadmap to Recovery, as well as what businesses are allowed to be operation with social distancing restrictions, visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/

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