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Over 5K New Coronavirus Cases Reported In LA County On Thanksgiving

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – More than 5,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Los Angeles County on Thanksgiving Day.

Gobble Gobble Give 2020
Covid compliance officer takes temperature of volunteer at Gobble Gobble Give 2020 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on November 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

The L.A. County Public Health Department reported Thursday that there were another 5,087 cases, bringing the county's total to 383,275 cases since the pandemic began.

There were also another 37 new deaths from the disease. The county's death COVID-19 death toll stands at 7,580.

Countywide hospitalizations from COVID-19 were at 1,809, up from 1,682 on Wednesday. Of those, 24% of patients were in ICU beds.

L.A. County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said Wednesday that hospitalizations had jumped 70% in just the past two weeks, with the county now averaging about 300 new admissions daily. With the current rate of transmission, Ghaly warned there would likely be shortages in the number of hospital beds, especially intensive-care unit beds, over the next two to four weeks.

RELATED: Whittier City Council Officially Opposes LA County Dining Ban

Due to the rising COVID-19 cases, many Angelenos are spending Thanksgiving a bit differently this year. Tonya Esparza grew up celebrating holidays with a big family, but this year she's on her own.

"I grew up in a big family, so my mom's Thanksgiving table would have 25 people at it!" she said. "I'm sad that I won't see everybody in my family but I've looked forward to having this time with husband's immediate family. So, I'm not disappointed at all."

That seemed to be a theme across the Southland — smaller birds and smaller tables.

"We got tested. We are all COVID safe, and it's gonna be a small Thanksgiving but a blessed one," said Gabrielle Carteris.

"I'm sad this year because I can't spend my Thanksgiving with my whole entire family," said Grace Forester.

Some even set up outside.

"We're eating outside on the patio just to keep it in the fresh air," said Larry Teng.

There were plenty of last minute shoppers at the grocery store, like Madeleine and Sam Hall. The brother and sister duo would normally fly home to Kentucky to see their family, but chose not to because of coronavirus.

"We bought stuffing and mashed potatoes and green beans and roasted chicken!" Madeleine said.

L.A. County's five-day average of new cases topped 4,500 earlier this week, a threshold that is expected to trigger a new safer-at-home order soon. L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said this week that order would include no public or private gatherings of people not in the same household, limiting outdoor permitted activities to only 50% capacity, indoor essential retail to 35% capacity and indoor non-essential retail to 20% capacity.

A controversial new ban on in-person dining took effect Wednesday in L.A. County and will last at least three weeks. It limits all restaurants to only offering take-out, drive-thru and delivery services. Eateries are no longer allowed to serve patrons outdoors, as they have been for the past several months.

Only the city of Pasadena, which has its own health department, is exempt from the ban.

The outdoor dining ban is in addition to a curfew order California public health officials put in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for all 41 purple-tier counties, which includes every county in Southern California. It lasts through at least Dec. 21. L.A. County extended the curfew one hour, to 6 a.m.

Under the order, all gatherings, movement and non-essential work is now allowed between those hours. Residents are, however, allowed to do such things as go to the grocery or drug store, walk their pets or pick up takeout.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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