The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out to the general public that Los Angeles County has issued a mandatory directive on travel: community members should avoid non-essential travel and must adhere to requirements for self-quarantine for 10 days after arriving or returning to any region of California, following travel. The city is responding to concerns about community members who may have traveled during the recent holiday season.
At this time COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase significantly, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that intensive care units in Southern California are at zero capacity. December 2020 marked a grim milestone of record COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations in the Southern California region and surge numbers are continuing in the early days of January 2021 in an apparent aftermath of holiday travel and gatherings.
Los Angeles County’s mandatory directive on travel has established a required quarantine, which applies to anyone traveling to Los Angeles County from anywhere outside the Southern California region. It includes people who visit the region from elsewhere and residents who have left the region and returned home. Individuals must quarantine themselves for 10 days following travel. People in self-quarantine must stay at home or find other lodging and avoid contact with others, including not going to grocery stores or restaurants for take-out food; they must, instead, have food and groceries delivered to them. The directive also prohibits hotels and other lodging companies from offering rooms to people visiting for tourism and leisure. Details are available by visiting the Public Health website.
The Los Angeles County directive furthers the State of California Travel Advisory. Details are available by visiting the State Public Health website.
The City of West Hollywood reminds community members about this important message from LA County Public Health: Travel may increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission through additional exposures to infected individuals, through shared conveyance such as air, bus, boat, or rail, and inter-mingling with non-household members. Infected individuals may never show symptoms, but that doesn’t mean someone is not infected with the coronavirus. The best way to ensure that a person does not infect others is to remain home for the COVID-19 incubation period, meaning for a minimum of 10 days. A negative test early in the quarantine period may simply not detect low levels of virus in the body that will replicate itself to higher levels later. A negative test result on Day 3, Day 5, or Day 7 does not mean that a person will not become positive on Day 8, Day 9, or Day 10.
Community members who test positive for COVID-19 should notify everyone with whom they have been in contact for 15 minutes or longer over a 24-hour period from two days before testing positive until the last time the positive individual came into contact with another person. Those contacts should also quarantine for 10 days. For those who test positive and need help isolating or notifying close contacts, please call Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (833) 540-0473 to speak to a public health specialist.
On Monday, January 4, 2021, the LA County Public Health confirmed 77 new deaths and 9,142 new cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. To date, Public Health has identified 827,498 cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County and there have been a total of 10,850 deaths. In slightly more than one month, the total count of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles has doubled from a total of approximately 400,000 cases on Monday, November 30, 2020 to more than 800,000 cases to date. There are currently 7,697 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 21 percent of these people are in the ICU.
The high number of COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County hospitals is distressing not only for those who have COVID-19, but for all others in LA County who need acute care during this time. People who have a stroke or heart attack or who experience a traumatic injury from a car crash are finding it more difficult to access care compared to usual times.
Local Public Health officials are concerned that, with the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases anticipated to once again reach 15,000+ per day and Los Angeles County may experience a post-holiday surge on top of this surge. Currently, more than one in five people who get tested are COVID-19 positive, and this helps explain why there is so much risk when individuals socialize with people from outside their immediate households. Public Health is advising: stay home in January to help stop the surge and save lives.
City of West Hollywood coronavirus updates are available at www.weho.org/coronavirus and the City encourages community members to follow @wehocity on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and turn on notifications for up-to-date information.