L.A. issues stay-at-home rules amid COVID-19 spike

The city of Los Angeles issued a modified stay-at-home order Wednesday night that mirrors L.A. County rules that went into effect Monday.

The city order prohibits gatherings of people outside immediate households, with some exceptions such as religious services and protests.

While the order tells people to stay home, it also allows retail businesses to remain open “after implementing the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Protocols for Retail Establishments Opening for In-person Shopping.”

Parks and trails remain open, along with golf courses, tennis courts and beaches. Music and television production is allowed.

“The city and county orders are the same. In the past there have been some minor differences but currently they are the same,” said Alex Comisar, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“My message couldn’t be simpler: It’s time to hunker down,” Garcetti said Wednesday. “It’s time to cancel everything. And if it isn’t essential, don’t do it.”

“Don’t meet up with others outside your household. Don’t host a gathering, don’t attend a gathering and follow our targeted safer-at-home order, if you’re able to stay home, stay at home. Just be smart and stay apart.”

The county rules, though less severe than the stay-at-home order initiated in the spring, are still the strongest restrictions in months.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Saturday that officials hope the more narrowly tailored restrictions will be sufficient to slow the spread of the coronavirus without having to give way to stricter measures.

If people don’t follow safety precautions, she said, it’s possible the county could find itself back where it was in the early spring. Gov. Gavin Newsom has also said a statewide stay-at-home order might be necessary as COVID-19 cases spike to unprecedented levels.

The number of Californians hospitalized with the coronavirus surged to a record high for a fourth straight day — soaring above 8,000 amid continued concerns that a sustained spike in patients may eventually swamp the state’s healthcare system.