Officials in March ordered would-be shoppers to stay at home. (Matthew Hall)

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday that the county plans to extend its stay-at-home orders for at least three months to suppress the coronavirus pandemic as confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise.

Ferrer said at a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting that the county would continue to slowly lift restrictions through August without reopening the region entirely. The current health officer order is set to expire Friday.

In the last two weeks, the county moved to phase two of a five-stage recovery plan which allows some retailers to offer curbside pickup, reopens trails, parks and golf courses, and allows people to use beaches for exercise.

Officials said Monday that beachgoers will be allowed to surf and swim in the water and walk and run on the sand if they are wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. They will not be permitted to lie or sit on the beach, bike or play sports. Beach parking lots, bike paths, piers and boardwalks throughout the county will remain closed.

The county Department of Public Health confirmed on Tuesday 45 new deaths and 961 new cases of COVID-19. About 1,700 people are hospitalized, a number that had remained steady for the last two weeks.

To date, Public Health has identified 33,180 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 1,613 deaths. More than 250,000 people have been tested and 11% have tested positive.

Ferrer said Monday that the county is basing decisions regarding reopening on data such as infection and mortality rates and the ability of local hospitals to accommodate patients. Because coronavirus has continued to spread in L.A. County while other parts of the state have seen a drop in cases and deaths, the county will not reopen businesses and public spaces as soon as Gov. Gavin Newsom eases statewide restrictions.

“Literally half the cases and half the deaths are here in L.A. County right now, so we have to pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in our own county,” she said. “We’re the largest county, we have the highest density areas in the county, we have the most people in the county, we have the most businesses in the county and we have some conditions that create more risk in terms of our vulnerable populations.”

Santa Monica had 212 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday, an increase of more than 11% over the last week. Confirmed cases in all of L.A. County increased 19% over the same period.

Twelve Santa Monica residents have died from COVID-19, according to a county data dashboard. The city’s death rate adjusted for age distribution is 9.7 per 100,000 people.

Malibu’s adjusted death rate is 4.5, Culver City’s is 5.4, West Hollywood’s is 7.3 and Beverly Hills’ is 7.8.

As of Monday, there were 140 confirmed cases and 19 deaths among residents and staff at six Santa Monica nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It is unknown how many permanently live in Santa Monica and are therefore included in the city’s official tally of cases and deaths.

Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab, the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica and Ocean Pointe Healthcare Center continue to report the largest outbreaks.

This article was updated May 12 at 2:30 p.m.

madeleine@smdp.com

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4 Comments

  1. People are too relax about distancing when the virus is still rising. People are stubborn and it really doesn’t help us. Too soon to open beaches. People are block partying & congregating!!! What’s up with that?? A lot of people are not wearing masks, jogging, running, & biking. Teenagers are mostly rambunctious and tend to heed no laws, same with some older adults & citizens.

  2. So are you going send us money? Have you really thought how many people are abusing the No Eviction Moratorium. What are you going to do about it? Probably nothing!

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