LA County Puts in Place New Pandemic Order; Restricts Use of Outdoor Pools

In an effort to reduce the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus, the County of Los Angeles put into effect new safety measures on Monday. The order is the strictest in the state and affects 10 million residents. The State of California established a stay-home order from November 21 through December 21 –asking residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.– but the LA County measure goes beyond the state’s mandate.

LA County, which has seen an alarming rise in cases in recent weeks, accounts for more than 400,000 of California’s 1.23 million confirmed COVID-19 cases to date. Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said, “We are at the most difficult moment time in the pandemic. The alarming increases in cases that we continue to witness is not due to random events out of our control – many of these cases could have been prevented if individuals and businesses were following the straightforward public health measures of masking, distancing and infection control.”

LA County is vast. Most of its swimming pools are outdoors, and each facility has been dealing with the pandemic according to its own rules, following the guidelines of local health authorities. This means that some pools have closed and opened again; others never reopened after the first shutdown in March. The new order stipulates that outdoor pools that serve more than one household be limited to lap swimming with one person per lane until December 20.

There are no Southern California Swimming LSC-sanctioned meets for the month of December this year. Some LA County teams had taken the month off altogether; others were focused on training.

Orange County has not added restrictions to the state mandate and its teams have not seen a disruption to their schedules, as of yet.

LA County Safety Measures, November 30-December 20:

Effective today, Monday, November 30, additional safety measures go into effect that aim to reduce the risk of transmission in the following several ways:

  • Requesting that individuals remain in their homes and with their immediate households as much as possible and reduce mingling with others not in your household.
  • Requiring that everyone wear a face covering whenever they are engaging in activities outside their homes where they are or can be in contact with others not in their household; this includes at gyms, at parks, at beaches. Unless swimming, please keep your face covering on over your nose and mouth.
  • And reducing capacity at sites where non-household members mingle to avoid crowding.

The additional safety modifications in the Order will remain in effect for three weeks until December 20 and include the following changes:

  • Gatherings: All public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for faith based services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.
  • Occupancy limits at various businesses; all individuals at these sites are required to wear face coverings and keep at least 6 feet of distance:
    • Essential retail – 35% maximum occupancy
    • Non-essential retail (includes indoor malls) – 20% maximum occupancy
    • Personal care services – 20% maximum occupancy
    • Libraries – 20% maximum occupancy
    • Fitness centers operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
    • Museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
    • Mini-golf, batting cages, go-kart racing operating outdoors – 50% maximum occupancy
  • Outdoor recreation activities all which require face coverings (except for swimming) and distancing:
    • Beaches, trails, and parks remain open; gatherings at these sites with members outside your household are prohibited.
    • Golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks, and community gardens remain open for individuals or members of a single household. Pools that serve more than one household may open only for regulated lap swimming with one person per lane.
    • Drive-in movies/events/car parades are permitted provided occupants in each car are members of one household.
  • Schools:
    • All schools and day camps remain open adhering to re-opening protocols. K-12 Schools and Day Camps with an outbreak (3 cases or more over 14 days) should close for 14 days.
  • Closed non-essential businesses/activities:
    • Playgrounds (with the exception of playgrounds at childcare and schools)
    • Cardrooms

 

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yardfan
2 years ago

California is a huge mess at many levels. This is so sad for swimmers.

moddiddle
2 years ago

Sadly, I don’t think this will be the last time everything gets shut down either:
We’re not going for elimination. Yet we’re not exactly “everything is open and tough luck if you don’t survive”.
It seems we’re sort of taking a halfway approach where things the states opens and closes again and again depending on the case rate. So once the number drops and everything reopens, it’s only a matter of time until things close again. College invite meets timed it well with everything the past couple weeks. Hopefully NCAAs can do the same?

Coach1
2 years ago

COHORT Swim Camps are exempt from the one person per lane as they are not required to physically distance. This is the loophole that works the best. Many swim programs are currently running this way.

Corn Pop
2 years ago

I used t o think the US needed to devolve into 4 manageable socially cohesive nations . Now I think it’s 52.

Meeeeeee
2 years ago

Same in Michigan. Hoping to end on 12/8

Ragnar
2 years ago

It’s been nine months. >99.5% recovery rate, including much higher when you subtract the extreme-at-risk folks that the average flu would affect anyway. Time to move on. If anything, make the bans city by city, county or state level restrictions is far too broad of strokes. If the government cared about your health they’d ban fast food, tobacco, and alcohol, but that wouldn’t play well for a 4 year election cycle would it. No, let’s continue to divide the nation and convince people that they should beg permission for every step they take. That’s how countries are successful long term.

swimapologist
Reply to  Ragnar
2 years ago

“>99.5% recovery rate” – 276,976 deaths among 14,108,490 cases in the US. That’s almost 2%. Where am I missing the math? That’s even a generously-low estimate because it assumes that all of those currently infected will live – and there are probably about 25,000 people who are currently infected that will eventually die.

Also, I love how “death” is now the only possible negative outcome. I mean, are pulmonary embolisms no longer considered “problematic”? We’re cool with pneumonia?

Brian M
Reply to  swimapologist
2 years ago

That’s 14,108,940 “reported” cases. It is already widely accepted by researchers that the number of people that have been exposed to COVID-19 (and would likely test positive) is significantly higher then the 14M number. I am not discrediting the fact that COVID is something to take seriously, but the 99.5% number is probably very close to the actual number.

swimapologist
Reply to  Brian M
2 years ago

Ok but then for the 99.5% number to be true the number of actual cases has to be 4 times the reported cases??? That may be true, but I’m going to need you to provide me some peer-reviewed evidence of that if you want me to believe it.

Brian M
Reply to  swimapologist
2 years ago

You have google, so you can do the work. I’ll give you a hint, both USC and Stanford Medical have done extensive work in this area, so not exactly right wing tinfoil hat denial kind of people.

swimapologist
Reply to  Brian M
2 years ago

Of all of my least favorite Trumpism memes, “you do the work to prove my point” is probably the grossest meme to me. I know there should be grosser ones, but this one just drives me up the wall.

swimapologist: out.

Rookie
Reply to  swimapologist
2 years ago

You are citing the CFR (Case Fatality Rate). The rate you want to look at is the IFR (Infection Fatality Rate). This summer, the CDC placed the infection rate at 10X the number of reported cases. I saw an article the other day where they are currently estimating that rate to be 8X.

Mike C
Reply to  Rookie
2 years ago
DrSwimPhil
Reply to  swimapologist
2 years ago

So we’ve been able to detect 100% of the “cases”?

Corn Pop
Reply to  swimapologist
2 years ago

Yes those 25,000 ppl will eventually die . I know SWSW will be a lot less interesting but one day you & me will be dead too.

Doconc
Reply to  swimapologist
2 years ago

U are missing the math. Millions had disease without being tested.
Less than 0.5% mortality

Didgeridont
Reply to  Doconc
2 years ago

Again, the mortality rate is not what this is about. Look at the facts. Hospitals are overflowing and first line workers are being overworked with limited resources. These measures are about helping them. You can argue all you want about the potency of this virus, but the fact remains that hospitalizations are up and resources for protection and treatment are scarce. Unless you have proof of hospitals not being overrun and PPE/ventilators/treatment options being plentiful, your stats on mortality rates are not applicable to this particular discussion regarding lockdowns.

Didgeridont
Reply to  Didgeridont
2 years ago

https://apnews.com/article/us-news-pandemics-nebraska-coronavirus-pandemic-0509a4a0b9e9860ad6be60379bc20a41

This is what these measures are trying to help with. While there have been some down votes on my comments. I have not seen any sort of evidence or facts to refute what I am saying.

In the words of one of the greatest orators of our time… no make that the greatest orator of our time, I will “stand back and stand by”

OLDBALDIMER
2 years ago

Been swimming Masters in Austin since late May when a couple off programs opened. I swim a 3 different programs now around the city. As of Right now 1 program is 4 per lane same end, another is 4 per lane but 2 and 2 opposite ends and another 2 per lane opposite ends. So I am swimming with many different people every day. So far no reported cases at any of these 3 masters programs. I feel safe at all 3. Don’t think swimming is a spreader of Covid…but that is just my opinion and experience so far

Amanda
Reply to  OLDBALDIMER
2 years ago

I’m in a 2/lane program. Eight lane outdoor pool. No issues so far regarding swimmers. Two coaches tested + and a pool member (non masters program) Pool closed for 24 hrs for cleaning. I’m more likely to get Covid from my husband bring it home from work travel.

Swim&Polo Dad
2 years ago

Not sure if this was added to the latest update this week or has been around for awhile. Santa Clara prohibits teams from traveling out of the county, or coordinating such endeavors. With the Winter Nationals happening, I’d imagine the swimmers from Santa Clara would have to register as unaffiliated if they participated. . . .

“Travel Outside of or Into Santa Clara County for Athletic or Recreational Activity

No Program may coordinate, arrange, or engage in travel outside of Santa Clara County so that its members can participate in athletic or recreational activity with individuals outside of their stable group. This includes, but is not limited to, traveling to other counties or states to participate in competitive play with… Read more »

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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