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Los Angeles County temporarily prohibits most private and public gatherings between households as COVID-19 cases spike

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Almost all private and public gatherings between households will be temporarily prohibited in Los Angeles County starting Monday, the county's public health department announced Friday. The prohibition is just one of the modifications to the city's "Safer At Home" order that are being implemented to slow a surge of new coronavirus cases. 

The ban does not include protected events such as protests and church services. Schools will still adhere to established re-opening protocols. 

The extended order goes into effect on Monday, November 30 and advises residents "to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others." Businesses including restaurants, non-essential retail, libraries, gyms, and museums will all operate under restricted occupancy limits, all of which still require visitors to wear face coverings and keep socially distant. 

In-person dining for restaurants, bars, and breweries are still closed. In a press release detailing the new safety modifications,  the public health department cited "the high rates of transmission in the community" and the "lack of mask wearing" while eating as reasons for the continued ban on in-person dining. In accordance with Los Angeles County thresholds, the new order will stay in place for three weeks until December 20, at which time it will be re-evaluated with current COVID-19 positivity data. 

Recent data from the California Department of Health shows the state boasts over 1,171,324 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Los Angeles County has confirmed 387,793 positive cases, with 7,604 deaths. The county also has a seven-day positivity rate of 6.9 %. 

"With the recent surge of COVID-19 across our community, we must take additional safety measures to reduce the risk of illness and death from this terrible virus and protect our healthcare system," Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in the press release. 

"We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents continue following Public Health safety measures that we know can slow the spread," Ferrer added. "Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge. Please remain home as much as possible and do not gather with others not in your household for the next three weeks."

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