West Hollywood has seen 83 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, a dramatic increase of 46% over the week before. At the same time, the city saw three new deaths in the past week, a 60% increase over the week before.
That 83 new cases is 46% more than the 57 new cases this time last week. The city now has a cumulative total of 818 cases, up from 735 the week before. The number of deaths in the city is now at eight, up from five deaths the week before.
With similar alarming increases across the county and state, Los Angeles County officials are imposing new tighter restrictions, effective Friday (Nov. 20). Those restrictions include:
- Restaurants, breweries, wineries and non-essential businesses must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Outdoor service at restaurants, wineries and brewers is limited to 50% capacity.
- Indoor service at non-essential businesses such as retail stores and offices is limited to 25% capacity.
- Personal care facilities indoor service is also limited to 25% capacity and customers must have an appointment. Any service requiring a customer to remove a face mask (such as facials or shaves) is prohibited.
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 15 people from no more than three households.
“Los Angeles County is at a critical moment to save lives and curb the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, said in a statement. “I urge our residents, businesses and community leaders to heed this warning and follow these heightened safeguards so that additional restrictions do not need to be imposed.”
Countywide, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 25 new deaths and 2,301 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. To date, there have been 344,523 positive cases of the coronavirus across in LA County and a total of 7,299 deaths.
There are 1,126 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 27% of these people are in the Intensive Care Unit. This is more than a 40% increase from two week ago when daily hospitalizations were 798.
The county has not experienced daily COVID-hospitalizations this high since late August when the number was over 1,100.
Los Angeles County is now reporting an average of 2,884 cases as a five-day average.
If that five-day average reaches 4,000 cases or hospitalizations exceed 1,750 per day, it will trigger even tighter restrictions including a shutdown of outdoor service at restaurants, breweries and wineries, but take-out and deliveries will still be allowed.
If that five-day average reaches 4,500 cases or if hospitalizations reach 2,000 a day, it will trigger a new Safer at Home order, like the original one issued in March. This time, the order would include a three-week shutdown of all non-essential businesses, plus a mandatory countywide curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
West Hollywood officials are also alarmed by the drastic increase in numbers.
“Now is not the time to let down your guard. In fact, given the spread of COVID and the amount of virus out in the community, now is the time to really hunker down and avoid any kind of social gathering,” said Councilmember John Heilman during Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Heilman urged people to be vigilant.
“I know there are holidays coming up,” Heilman said. “I know we have sacrificed for a long time, but if there really is going to be a vaccine for this virus that will be distributed widely in April, May or June, we’re talking about six more months, seven more months, we can do this. We need to do this for our own safety and for the safety of those around us.”
Even City Manager Paul Arevalo, in a rare instance of standing on a soapbox, urged people to take responsibility for their safety.
“Everybody has the information about how to be safe and it’s up to us to be safe,” said Arevalo.
He said that businesses seem to be doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus. He noted that new infections seem to be coming not from exposure at businesses but at social gatherings in homes.
For comparison, below are the numbers for the past week for areas near West Hollywood:
- Beverly Hills – 41 new cases for a total of 853 cases, a -5% increase over the previous week.
- Culver City – 43 new cases for a total of 509 cases, a 65% increase over the previous week.
- Hollywood – 123 new cases for a total of 1,639 cases, a 62% increase over the previous week.
- Melrose neighborhood – 174 new cases for a total of 2,463 cases, an 87% increase over the previous week.
Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at (833) 540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 can continue to call 211 for resources or more information.
One way the virus can be transmitted is through a cough, a sneeze or even through air that comes from the mouth when someone talks. For that reason, residents must wear face coverings when out in public and can be cited for not doing so. The citations come with a $250 fine and a $50 administrative fee.
West Hollywood residents with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic or who are looking for resources to deal with it can find answers on the City of West Hollywood’s website. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues: