Los Angeles County officials announced on Friday that the order for residents to stay at home has been extended through May 15. Under the order, any businesses that were closed must remain closed, and the public continues to be advised to avoid going out except for essential needs.
Pushing back the end of the order comes as the social distancing measures in place in the county appear, at least in early analysis, to be helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. But in order to keep that trend going in the right direction, public health experts agreed that social distancing must be maintained.
“I want to note that we are extending the health officer orders which require a fair amount of distancing and continuing to keep in place closures of non-essential businesses not because everything everyone has been doing isn’t working,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer said at a briefing. “It’s because it is working. We know it’s effective. But we still have a ways to go.”
The extension of the order also includes some new and updated measures, including mandating face coverings for essential employees who are continuing to work, the posting of information about social distancing at all operating businesses, and the insistence that customers entering any business also wear face coverings.
Prior to the extension, the stay-at-home order was set to expire on April 19.