stay at home

Los Angeles is back on lockdown after the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The Safer L.A. order, issued by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, took effect on Nov. 30 and will last until Dec. 20.

The order was enacted after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) released that the county had reached a five-day average of 4,751 new cases. On Nov. 27, it confirmed 4,544 new cases and 24 deaths due to COVID-19. It was also reported that 1,893 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in comparison to 747 people reported one month earlier on Oct. 27.

On Dec. 1 there were 7,593 new confirmed cases contributing to a total of 408,396 cases for the county.

“I think that the new stay at home order was very necessary, especially seeing how many people were traveling during the holidays and how fast cases are rising,” said Jaden Efting, a junior psychology major.

Similar to the Safer at Home order enacted in March, the new order advises individuals to stay home and reduce contact with others as much as possible. Public gatherings are prohibited, and private gatherings must be held outside and limited to three households or a maximum of 15 people. All in-person dining both outside or inside is now prohibited.

Efting, who works at Mendocino Farms sandwich market, voiced the significant changes in her place of work including daily health questionnaires and temperature checks for employees, which are required in accordance with CDC guidelines for businesses.

“Now, our patio is completely closed, we take no orders inside the store (online [or] call-in only), and there are less employees there at once,” said Efting. “This means that all employees will most likely get less hours due to the new restrictions.”

Occupancy restrictions have also been rolled back on public places including retail stores, fitness centers, personal care services, schools and outdoor recreation activities. Essential retail is limited to 35% capacity while non-essential retail, including indoor shopping malls and personal care services, are limited to 20% capacity. Fitness centers must operate outdoors and are limited to 50% maximum occupancy.

“[The order is] gonna hurt some restaurants and businesses which really sucks, but we also have to keep vulnerable people safe,” said Ben Rachlis, a junior recording arts major.

Outdoor recreation is permitted at beaches, parks and trails given that individuals wear face coverings, comply with social distancing guidelines and gather only with people in their household.

K-12 schools are allowed to hold socially distanced learning for a limited number of students but are required to close for 14 days if there are three or more confirmed cases. Institutions of higher education are not permitted to open for in-person learning, and access to campuses will continue to be limited.

In a letter to the LMU Community, President Snyder announced that, in accordance with the new restrictions, nearly all courses for the spring 2021 semester will be held online. If permitted, however, the University will offer limited in-person instruction for programs with “special requirements.”

With the static restrictions on universities, students who are reliant on work-study employment are frustrated about the inability to work, especially for many positions which that have not been able to transition to a virtual format.

“I’m glad that there’s a stay at home order because I believe we all should be quarantining anyway, but I believe LMU should be paying its student employees, especially those with work study who haven’t been able to work due to the circumstances,” said Lauren Eckerdt, a junior communications major. “I was basically furloughed because of this and believe that if LMU cared about its students they would still pay the kids who need that money to survive instead of forcing us to get jobs where we are at risk.”

As the number of cases continue to rise, even higher than they were in March, greater restrictions continue to be implemented.

“I think some people will take it seriously but a large population probably won’t. It seems like people are pretty tired of restrictions and are desensitized to covid fear,” said Rachlis. “Hopefully enough people follow the protocols so that cases go down.”

Managing Editor

Haley LaHa is a junior international relations and economics double major from Pleasanton, California. She enjoys watching Friends reruns, reading, and exploring LA with her friends on the weekends.

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