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10 Apr 2020 | 09:08 PM UTC

US: Los Angeles (California state) extends safer-at-home order until May 15 due to COVID-19 /update 39

Los Angeles (California state) extends stay-at-home order until May 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak and issues requirements on face coverings; follow authority directives

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USA

Event

On Friday, April 10, Los Angeles authorities announced an extension to the current stay-at-home order until Friday, May 15, to prevent further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). With the extension of the order, all non-essential businesses will remain closed and residents will only be allowed to go out for essential activities, such as buying medicine or groceries. Residents who go out in public will be required to wear some form of face-covering as of Wednesday, April 15. On Tuesday, April 8, the US recorded the single highest day increase of 1736 COVID-19 fatalities. The number of confirmed cases is 399,929, including 12,911 total deaths since the pandemic began. New York remains the most affected state with 140,386 cases and 5489 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days with immediate effect. Exemptions are made for those in infrastructure industries including public health, trucking, financial services, and food supply. Most US states have implemented stay-at-home measures. President Donald Trump has announced the extension of a nationwide stay-at-home and social distancing guideline through Thursday, April 30. Meanwhile, the US-Canada border remains closed to all non-essential travel from Friday, March 20, until Monday, April 20. On the same date, authorities announced that the US and Mexico will also close their shared border to nonessential travel from Saturday, March 21; the border closures will reportedly not affect trade.

Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.