LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – More than 5,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Los Angeles County on Thanksgiving Day.
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.
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.
That seemed to be a theme across the Southland — smaller birds and smaller tables.
"I'm sad this year because I can't spend my Thanksgiving with my whole entire family," said Grace Forester.
"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.
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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