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Los Angeles County Issues New Stay-Home Order Amid Rise in COVID Cases

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Los Angeles County issued a new stay-home order that begins on Nov. 30 and will remain in effect until Dec. 20.

Health officials made the announcement on Friday as the number of COVID cases has spiked in one of the nation's most densely populated areas. 

The county set a threshold for issuing the order. It would take effect if the five-day average of cases is more than 4,500; or, hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day. 

The five-day average of new cases reported on Friday was 4,751.

"We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. "Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge."

The order encourages residents to stay home "as much as possible" and to wear a mask-covering whenever they are outdoors and around others.

The county pointed out there are a few exceptions to include church services and protests, "which are constitutionally protected rights."

Businesses such as libraries, gyms, and personal care services are allowed to remain open but with limited capacity. Beaches and parks are also permitted to stay open but with safety restrictions in place.

These measures are mild compared to the statewide closure order that Gov. Gavin Newsom issued earlier this year. 

Meanwhile, public health officials are preparing for a surge of new cases that could follow Thanksgiving Day gatherings. It could take two to three weeks for those cases to emerge. 

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