New public health rules as California hits a record for hospitalizations

Sailors perform a surgery aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by U.S. Navy (CC BY 2.0).

California set a record for COVID-19 hospitalizations over the weekend — nearly 7500 patients. That’s triple the number from a month ago. Officials estimate that one in every 145 people in LA County is now infected.

Starting today until at least December 20, people in LA County are not allowed to gather with non-household members both indoors and outdoors. Grocery and retail stores must further limit how many customers can come in at a time. Playgrounds are closed. Zoos, museums, and gyms are outdoor-only and at 50% capacity. Restaurants are takeout and delivery only. Hiking trails and beaches are open, but people must wear masks and stay six feet away from non-household members.

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl says, “Anybody that wants to break these rules, why don't you go to your local hospital and just see what's going on? The ER is overflowing, the halls are overflowing. It is a crisis.”