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What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Restrictions This Holiday

December 10, 2020 11:29 AM
by Lindsay B. Call

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Restrictions This Holiday

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and threaten the capacity of Los Angeles County’s healthcare system, we want to provide residents and businesses with the latest information on public health orders from the State of California and Los Angeles County 

Here’s what you need to know as of December 8, 2020Remember that the most important thing you can do right now is to stay at home as much as possible and to cancel any plans to gather with those outside your household.  

Right now, Southern California’s ICU beds are 89.1 percent full and it is critical that we ensure our ICUs hospital beds remain available for not only COVID-19 patients but for those who experience heart attacks, car accidents, strokes, etc. If Los Angeles County hospitals become overwhelmed and run out of staffed critical care beds, local Santa Monica patients could be sent to any hospital that has a staffed ICU bed in any of the eleven counties that are a part of the State’s Southern California regional plan.  

As our healthcare workers continue to care for our community, we must do our part by helping slow the spread of COVID-19. 

LA County's Targeted Safer At Home Order:  

  • On December 6, 2020, LA County revised the Health Officer Order prohibiting all gatherings (except faith-based services and protests) and requiring individuals to stay home except to go to an essential job or to shop for essential needs, and to wear a face-covering when going outside of the household.  
  • This was necessitated because in the past two weeks, there has been over a 100% increase in total hospitalizations in LA County. In Southern California, only 10% of the region’s ICU beds remain available for new patients, prompting the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order (below).

State Regional Stay Home Order:  

  • The Regional Stay Home Orderwent into effect as of December 6, 2020, due to the area's less-than-15% ICU availability. This State Order prohibits private gatherings of any size, closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.   
  • The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks and, after that period, will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15 percent. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial three week period. Learn more about this order.

Under these orders, the following is CLOSED:  

The following sectors are required to close or remain closed for all operations: 

  • Indoor playgrounds and recreational facilities 
  • Hair salons and barbershops 
  • Personal care services 
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums 
  • Movie theaters 
  • Bars 
  • Family entertainment centers 
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering 
  • Limited services as defined by the state 
  • Live audience sports 
  • Amusement parks   

The following have CAPACITY REDUCTIONS 

  • All Retail & Shopping Centers: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores or common areas. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 

The following require OPERATIONAL CHANGES: 

  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays for recreational visits at campgrounds will not be permitted. 
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow to open for critical infrastructure support only. 
  • Restaurants, Wineries, Breweries: Allow only for meal take-out, pick-up, or delivery. Retail services remain open for wineries and breweries. 
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. All on-site essential employees must wear a mask at all times, even in cubicles with partitions.  
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor services only. 
  • Entertainment production including professional sports: Allow operation without live audiences. Additionally, testing protocol and “bubbles” are highly encouraged. 

The following have NO CHANGE to current service: 

  • Critical infrastructure 
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care 
  • Childcare and in-person tk-12 learning (per local Health Order requirements). Check with your education provider with any questions.   

Safety Tips for Residents 

If you are a resident, this means:  

For tips on how to have a safe holiday check out this blog article and remember to follow these critical safety tips whenever you leave home:   

  • Stay at home as much as possible.  
  • Cancel non-essential travel plans both in and out of state.   
  • Cancel gatherings with those outside your household, including holiday festivities.  
  • Stay at home if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms or are under quarantine/isolation orders  
  • Wear a face covering, preferably with two layers of fabric for maximum protection.  
  • Stay six feet apart from those outside your household. 
  • Self-quarantine at home if you have been exposed or if you had to travel outside of the region.  
  • Contact your healthcare professional or visit the County’s testing website to inquire about getting a COVID-19 test if you’re experiencing symptoms or have been exposed. 

Support our Local Restaurants & Businesses  

We know that recent restrictions are incredibly challenging for businesses that have already had to endure so much during the last several months. Do your part to keep our local economy strong.   

  • Gift certificates make great stocking stuffers. Get gift cards from your favorite Santa Monica businesses.  
  • Celebrate a safe and stress-free holiday season by supporting local restaurants and businesses with to-go options and curbside service. Check the Local Approved Santa Monica restaurants list for new restaurant ideas. 
  • Check out our Tis the Season to Buy Local Holiday Gift Guide which features: 1) Safer at Home Gifts 2) Gifts that Give Back 3) Eco-Friendly Gifts and 4) Gifts on a Budget ($25 or less).  Many local businesses offer safe online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery options. 
  • Not sure what businesses are offering what services? Check out locations using our “Open for Business” map. 
  • Estimate how much money you would have spent dining out in a typical month and donate some of that to restaurant and business relief funds.   
  • When using a delivery app, choose one that has reduced or decreased fees or order directly from the restaurant.   
  • Have your group of friends order cocktail kits. Host a virtual holiday happy hour from the safety of your home.   

We can do this Santa Monica! Let’s make the holiday spirit of 2020 all about protecting our fragile health care system and one another by staying home, not gathering, wearing face coverings, and safely supporting businesses. Continue to spread cheer, not germs, into the new year!  

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