Los Angeles County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Nearly all social gatherings of individuals from more than a single household will be banned in Los Angeles County for at least three weeks starting Monday under new restrictions local health officials unveiled on Friday, citing a continued surge in COVID-19 infections.
The public health order specifically exempts religious services and protests under constitutionally protected rights in an apparent nod to Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a New York state order that had restricted the size of religious gatherings.
The Los Angeles County measures, affecting some 20 million people living in and around the nation’s second-largest city, go beyond a curfew imposed last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom barring social gatherings and other non-essential activities across most of the state between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Taken together, they represent the most stringent COVID-19 measures imposed on the Los Angeles area since California’s first-in-the-nation statewide lockdown in March, early in the pandemic. They also are among the most restrictive in effect nationwide.