Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis on March 22 issued a complete ban on “all indoor and outdoor public and private gatherings and events” without qualification, that is, regardless of size. It is an expansion of the previous orders issued March 16 and 19, which put the lid on gatherings at 250 people and 10 people, respectively.
The ban is in effect through April 19, 2020 and applies to all parts of the County except Long Beach and Pasadena, which have separate public health agencies.
As before, the new order clarifies that it does not prohibit individuals or families from outdoor activities such as hiking, walking or shopping at “essential businesses” such as grocery stores, restaurants offering delivery, drive thru or carry out service—as long as everyone practices social distancing to the extent practicable.
The new order also adds another category to the existing list of 23 types of business considered “essential” and therefore exempt from closure. It adds “construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction).”
Violation of or failure to comply with the Order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.