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LA's Stay-At-Home Order Extended To May 15, And More Angelenos Need To Physically Distance To Stop Spread

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Los Angeles County Health officials said today the stay-at-home order will be extended to May 15. They laid out new data that shows current social distancing practices are working — but we need to do better.

Barbara Ferrer, director of the county public health department, said they were using a model which has three scenarios.

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(Courtesy of LA County)

The first has health officials doing nothing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The second assumes current social distancing tactics of closed public spaces and schools continues.

The third scenario includes increased physical distancing, with more people staying home than there are now.

In the first scenario — which, happily, we have moved far away from — 95 percent of Angelenos would get infected.

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In the second scenario, if current physical distancing is maintained, about 30 percent of the population of Los Angeles County will get COVID19 by August.

But in the third scenario, if even more people stay at home — including when they are sick — that number drops to just 5 percent.

Ferrer said more rigorous physical distancing includes isolating yourself completely in your home if you may have COVID-19.

“People who we know are infected, or we think might become like these people, in particular, have to keep their distance from others,” Ferrer told reporters in a morning press briefing (you can watch live updates for the public at the top of this story).

Christina Ghaly, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, said even with the measures in place now, every positive COVID-19 case is infecting at least one other person — sometimes up to two or three — so increasing physical distancing is necessary.

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“For some people [physical distancing] is harder than others, because of the economic situation,” Ghaly said. “But it has saved lives. It has saved hundreds or thousands of lives. And if it’s continued, it will continue to save lives.”

The data shows that 3% of coronavirus patients in the county require hospitalization, and the majority of those patients use a ventilator, a machine that helps them breathe.

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(LA County)

Modeling also showed that the county has sufficient hospital beds and ventilators, but officials were quick to warn that the need for hospital based services could quickly exceed capacity if physical distancing was relaxed.

County officials also announced the latest case totals:

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  • 18 new deaths | 241 total deaths
  • 475 new cases | 8,430 total cases

Health officials said 18 cases have been reported among the county's homeless population.