© BloombergA driver receives a testing kit at a Curative Inc. Covid-19 drive-thru testing site in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. California passed the grim milestone of 1 million infections as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said almost no part of the country is being spared in the surge.
America's most infected metropolitan area will be shutting down outdoor dining again.
The Greater Los Angeles area added 2,718 new coronavirus cases Sunday, with the five-day average exceeding the 4,000 threshold that triggered additional measures where restaurants, breweries and bars will once again limit their businesses to just pick-up and delivery. The new curbs will start at 10 p.m. Wednesday.
"If our cases and hospitalizations continue to increase, we will need to issue further restrictions to protect our health-care system and prevent more deaths," Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement Sunday.
Sunday's case count brought the total for the Greater Los Angeles area to 364,520, the highest among counties in the U.S. -- and exceeding even those in nations including Canada, Saudi Arabia and Austria.
The Los Angeles area, with a population of about 10 million, had already imposed additional measures starting Friday night, including limiting capacity for retail stores, offices and restaurants. Non-essential shops and restaurants must also close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., except for takeout, delivery and pick-up.
Still, the county was spared from a lockdown. A five-day average of 4,500 cases could trigger a three-week "Safer at Home" order. The hospitalization of more than 2,000 a day would also lead to similar curbs.
Ahead of the Thanksgiving break, officials across the U.S. have urged residents to avoid travel and scale back gatherings -- or cancel them altogether. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reminded residents to avoid gatherings for the holiday.
"Your bubble is bigger than you think," he said.
California, which had a record number of cases over the weekend, started its 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew on Saturday night across most of the state, affecting areas that encompass 37 million people, or 94% of the population.
(Adds comment from Los Angeles mayor in eighth paragraph.)
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