Photo by Kit Karzen

Local officials are calling on residents to be mindful of their actions when out in public this holiday season.

Following four straight days of more than 2,000 daily cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County, public health director Barbara Ferrer said this week that a recent surge in cases wasn’t as bad as the one seen earlier this summer. On Thursday, when the county reported an additional 2,533 cases, Ferrer warned more restrictions could be instituted if counts continue to rise.

“If collectively we fail to stop the acceleration of new cases, we will have no choice but to look at additional actions,’’ Ferrer said, reminding residents that the trend can be reversed and the spread can be slowed. “We’ve been there before, just four months ago, and we worked really hard to get ourselves back to a place where our health was protected and our recovery journey could continue, and I know none of us wants to step back.”

With 1,172 cases to date, Santa Monica has also reported the highest number of new weekly cases since the pandemic began, which is why it’s critical for the community to safely celebrate during the holidays, city officials recently said via social media.

“We are all sounding the alarm today,” Santa Monica Interim City Manager Lane Dilg added Thursday. “COVID numbers are moving in the wrong direction. We can avoid a winter crisis, but we have to do it together. Please, wear a face covering and follow public health guidance.”

Los Angeles County health officials previously issued guidance for small gatherings that allow residents to enjoy the company of two other households as long as they remain outdoors and six-feet apart with face coverings. The same rules apply to Thanksgiving dinners.

Ferrer joined state leaders in discouraging people from traveling over the holiday.

“We hear from people who tell us that they are going to go to a party this weekend and, now, they’re all going to go get tested today so that they’ll be able to go to the party. That strategy doesn’t work,” Ferrer said, explaining when you test today and you are negative, you’re only negative today. “Your actions on the weekend really offer nobody around you any protections from the fact that you may have converted and become positive and are able to spread the virus. This is going to be particularly important (to remember) as we plan to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.”