LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger Friday again hailed residents’ adherence to social-distancing and stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, and said the county is still eyeing four benchmarks for its decision on when to lift the restrictions.
“Every one of us is eager to ease Safer-At-Home restrictions so we can return to a normal life,” Barger said. “I’m immensely proud of our residents for adhering to these guidelines so far, which has successfully prevented a huge surge in cases.
“We are developing a plan to slowly ease restrictions under the condition of some important prerequisites,” she said. “This will not happen all at once, but in stages when our public health experts deem it appropriate and safe.”
Barger stressed that county officials don’t want to lift the restrictions prematurely, potentially leading to another spike in cases that could “overwhelm our hospitals and unnecessarily put lives at risk.”
The benchmarks being examined by the county echo those outlined previously discussed by county health officials, as well as guidelines detailed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on the state level.
The county benchmarks are:
— ensuring capacity in hospitals and health care facilities, in case coronavirus cases surge;
— ensuring continued protections for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying health conditions;
— providing increased testing and ability to trace contacts of people who test positive; and
— maintaining physical-distancing and infection control as businesses are allowed to reopen.
“It’ll be the county’s role to provide businesses with educational materials and guidance to make this possible and to enforce compliance,” Barger said. “… Ultimately we want to make sure as many people return to work as safely and as quickly as possible. If we meet the guidelines I shared, we can prevent or limit the spread of COVID-19 when we loosen physical distancing measures.
“Until then I thank you for your patience and compliance,” she said. “Your commitment to your health and the well-being of your family and neighbors has gotten us this far. It is this same dedication that will help us rebuild Los Angeles County stronger than before.”