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County public health to allow some small gatherings

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Following the state’s lead, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that it would loosen the restrictions on private gatherings beginning Thursday October 15.

Last Friday the state health department updated its guidance to allow private gatherings of three or fewer households, provided that the event is held outdoors and is less than two hours long. Further restrictions include wearing face coverings, observing physical distancing and food must be in single serving disposable containers.

“Private gatherings with people from different households increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission, with the risk increasing, the longer the gathering. Public Health recommends if you do gather with two other households, that you do so with the same households each time, to create a quasi-bubble that can reduce the risk of spreading the virus,” health officials stated in a news release.

Public health also warns that people should avoid any gathering if they are feeling sick, have tested positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who is positive.

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

The county reports nine new and 445 cumulative coronavirus cases in Claremont including unincorporated areas. There have been 14 deaths in the city.

There are no new institutional outbreaks in Claremont, but the county is still reporting cumulative cases, including: Claremont Care Center, three staff and four residents; Mt. San Antonio Gardens, eight staff, 10 residents and four deaths; Mountain View Center, two staff, 16 residents and four deaths; and Western Assemblies Home, 13 staff, six residents and one death.

In its daily news release Wednesday, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced 1,349 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths. There are 720 people with confirmed cases currently hospitalized, 27 percent of whom are in the ICU.

Of the 22 deaths reported Wednesday, five were over the age of 80, seven were between the ages of 65 and 79, five were 50 to 64, one person was 30 to 49, and one was 18 to 29.

Fourteen people who died had underlying health conditions, including four people over the age of 80. Three deaths were reported by the city of Long Beach.

Since its first coronavirus report public health has recorded 285,016 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County and a total of 6,812 deaths.

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