During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged that the County’s “Safer at Home” orders will “with all certainty” be extended for the next three months unless there is a “dramatic change in the virus and the tools we have in hand” to combat it.
Without widely available and effective therapeutic medicines, vaccinations, or at home testing/rapid testing kits that allow people to test themselves daily, current restrictions and contact tracing remain the best tools to mitigate community transmission of the virus.
Ferrer warned that “recovery will be months long.” The sentiment was supported by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl who reminded the Board that this is “still the height of the pandemic for us.”
The comments came as the Board debated how long the County’s rent moratorium should remain in place.
As of Tuesday, the “Safer at Home Order” is set to expire on May 15 as officials have no yet issued a formal extension. However, even if the order is extended, restrictions will continue to be relaxed as the County moves through its phased recovery plan.
The director further clarified her comment later in the day on Tuesday. “L.A. County is continuing its progress on the road to recovery, with planned reopening of beaches for active recreation and an expansion of permitted retail activities coming tomorrow. While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will be gradually relaxed under our 5-stage Roadmap to Recovery, while making sure we are keeping our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic,” said Dr. Ferrer. “We are being guided by science and data that will safely move us forward along the road to recovery in a measured way—one that allows us to ensure that effective distancing and infection control measures are in place. We’re counting on the public’s continued compliance with the orders to enable us to relax restrictions, and we are committed to making sure that L.A. County is in the best position to provide its 10 million residents with the highest level of wellness possible as we progressively get back to normal.”