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L.A. County to Allow Some Private Gatherings in Accordance with Updated State Guidelines

According to state guidelines, any food or beverages at outdoor gatherings must be in single-serve disposable containers. Self-serve items from communal containers should not be used. | Courtesy photo by Vincent Keiman on Unsplash

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) said in a statement Wednesday that it will update the Health Officer Order to align with state guidance on private gatherings.

On Friday, the state updated guidance to allow private gatherings of three or fewer households, as long as the private gathering is outdoors, everyone wears a cloth face covering and keeps at least 6 feet of physical distance, food is in single-serve disposable containers, and the duration of the gathering is two hours or less.

Public Health recommends that private gatherings are held with the same households each time to create “a quasi-bubble that can reduce the risk of spreading the virus.” A household does not include group living situations such as dormitories, fraternities, sororities, residential care facilities, or commercial group living arrangements such as boarding houses, hotels, or motels.

Health officials also urge those who have tested positive for COVID-19, who are experiencing symptoms, or have likely been exposed to the virus to not attend any private gatherings.

Large public events and gatherings remain prohibited, even if held outdoors.

Public Health officials are also “carefully tracking outbreaks at worksites.” From Sept. 6-19 there were 23 outbreaks in non-healthcare and non-residential workplaces, the lowest number seen since June. From Sept. 20 through Oct. 4 worksite outbreaks increased to 39. Since the end of August, Public Health has issued 131 citations.

The department also reported that as of Oct. 10 it has received 62 applications from schools for waivers to open for grades TK-2 in-person learning. The review process may take two to three weeks and includes consultation with the California Department of Public Health. Schools must wait until their application have been approved before reopening.

Schools are allowed to open for in-person learning and necessary assessments for high-need students and so far, 837 schools — 72% are public schools, 15% are charter schools and 13% are private schools — have done so. Over 17,000 students and 10,000 staff have returned for on-site learning. The San Fernando region of L.A. County and the South Bay/Harbor region have the most schools opened at this time.

October 15, 2020

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