Watch CBS News

'Most Alarming Metrics We Have Ever Seen': Proposal Seeks To Prohibit Gatherings In LA County As Pandemic Surges

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Kibare family was picking up some last minute pies Tuesday night for the Thanksgiving holiday.

People wait in long lines for coronavius tests at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site, November 24, 2020, in San Fernando, California, just northeast of the city of Los Angeles. - California shattered the state's single-day COVID-19 record with over 20,500 new cases recorded on November 23 ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) / The erroneous mention appearing in the IPTC metadata of this photo by Robyn Beck has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [San Fernando, California] instead of [San Fernando, Philippines]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention from all your online services and delete it from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

They're planning to celebrate with a close bubble of friends they have seen throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

"We wouldn't meet any new people, kind of just keep it to maybe just six people that we typically — well, it would be like three households — sitting out on a patio, so maybe that will cover it," the mother said.

Just last week, Los Angeles County health officials said Thanksgiving gatherings were allowed as long as they were limited to three households, held outside and did not last more than two hours.

But now, L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer is telling people to cancel those plans and asked the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to approve new restrictions — as COVID-19 cases continue to surge faster than ever.

"At this point in time, our metrics are the most alarming metrics we have ever seen," she said.

RELATED: LA County Supervisors Uphold Controversial Outdoor Dining Ban Despite Some Opposition

On Wednesday,  the L.A. County Public Health Department could issue new safer-at-home restrictions banning all gatherings — even those held outdoors — of people not in the same household.

"The risk at this point is that overwhelming the healthcare system is now a very real possibility," Ferrer said.

Some of the restrictions Ferrer proposed Tuesday include no public or private gatherings of people not in the same household,  outdoor permitted activities limited to 50% capacity, indoor essential retail at 35% capacity and indoor non-essential retail at 20% capacity.

None of the supervisors responded to multiple requests for comment on the proposal.

But, for some who know the toll COVID-19 can take, the boards' decision will not impact them since they've already made the decision to cancel their plans.

"We've actually lost friends and, you know, family members," Brenda Casas said. "We've had friends and family in the hospital, so we're aware that it's here."

Casas said she hopes to see her friends and family next year when it's safe for everyone.

"I want to see them this year, and it's more important for me to see them next year and the year beyond than this year," she said.

If the board approves the proposed restrictions, the only gatherings allowed would be outdoor church services and outdoor protests — though they would both have to adhere to social distancing and face covering guidelines.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.