Los Angeles County reported 6,124 new Covid-19 cases Monday, its highest single-day jump in infections since the start of the pandemic.
“Los Angeles is on a very dangerous path,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a news conference on Monday, adding that the county is projected to reach 1 million cases by the end of this year.
Hospitalizations have increased more than 50% in just one week, according to Garcetti. “At this rate, our hospitals won’t have any spare beds by Christmas,” he said.
While Monday's case numbers included a backlog of about 1,500 cases from over the weekend, the surge is expected to trigger new restrictions later this week.
Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said county officials are preparing to announce a "targeted safer-at-home order" this week that would only allow residents to leave their homes for essential work and services for a three-week period.
The measures come after the county surpassed a daily average of more than 4,500 cases over a five-day period.
"One of the sad realities for all of us is that we've never seen a rate of increase as high as what we've just seen," Ferrer said at a news conference. "Our problem right now is we have such a high rate of transmission and there's so many people that are infected so at this point, it will take a lot of work to get us back down."
Some context: The county already tightened restrictions on Sunday, after its five-day average number of new infections surpassed 4,000. They include:
- All restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars can only offer takeout, drive-through and delivery services starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
- Retail stores, offices, and personal care services are also required to operate at 25% maximum capacity.
- Outdoor mini golf and batting cages will be limited to 50% maximum capacity.
Los Angeles County health officials and the county's Board of Supervisors will deliberate and decide on additional closures at a board meeting Tuesday. Ferrer said the current surge in Los Angeles is "alarming" and "much steeper" than the increase in cases seen in June and July.