A Plea To Follow The Safer-At-Home Order: 'Dead People Don't Get A Second Chance'

(Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash)

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is pleading with the public to follow the new safer-at-home order that takes effect on Monday, suggesting that if too many people fail to follow the protocols, officials may have to impose stricter restrictions.

Ferrer told reporters Saturday that the county is in the midst of the largest coronavirus surge it has seen so far, with the number of new cases and hospitalizations skyrocketing.

"We can still turn this around," she said, "but it will take significant collective action."

Ferrer was blunt about the consequences of failure: "Dead people don't get a second chance."

"If this doesn't work, and two to three weeks from now we find ourselves in a worse place, we're going to have to go back and look at what else do we have as options," she added.

Health officials say it will take two to three weeks to see if people are generally following the new safety protocols.

The county reported 3,123 new COVID-19 cases and 19 additional deaths Saturday. Officials said those numbers were likely low, because testing centers were closed for Thanksgiving and testing was limited on Friday.

The new health order will last for three weeks, until Dec. 20. Everyone is urged to stay home as much as possible, and gatherings with people outside your household are prohibited, except for church services and protests. (The right to protest is protected by the U.S. Constitution.)

Most businesses will remain open, but with reduced maximum occupancy.

Ferrer stressed the importance of wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance from others when out in public.

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our nonprofit public service journalism: Donate now.