COVID-19: County Urges Caution, Even Amid Lockdown Lifting

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Drive-through testing at the Malibu City Hall parking lot last April.

LA County Health Services has a list of recommendations for area residents among concerns that new, highly-transmissible strains of the novel coronavirus are spreading around Southern California. On Tuesday, the department tweeted the following list of “updated health tips”:

-Reduce your time at the grocery store.

-Use a two or three layer mask.

-Don’t spend time indoors with people outside your household.

-Avoid crowds, don’t dine indoors, keep physical distance.

-Don’t dine with co-workers, especially indoors.

-Wash your hands often.

The list came out just hours after the county announced it would be lifting restrictions on several areas of the economy including outdoor dining; indoor “personal care” such as barber shops and nail salons; museums, zoos and aquariums; and tourism travel. The health officer update raised eyebrows, coming on the heels of the largest and most deadly surge of the virus yet seen in Southern California, with, on average, hundreds of Angelenos dying every day from the viral disease.

Dozens of complaints have poured into the county’s social media channels, with some begging for the county to keep lockdown orders in place for the safety of food service workers. 

“I’m for opening up as soon as possible,” one comment stated. “However this seems irresponsible an opening. Just 10 days ago we were averaging 13K infections. The past 7 days averaging over 200 deaths a day. ICU overrunning. The UK Variant is spreading across the US. This could trigger another surge.”

Guidance from the LA County Public Health Department released on Monday, Jan. 25, continued to urge residents to “stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others.”

Malibu’s new case rate declines for first time this year

A dozen Malibu residents tested positive for the novel coronavirus from Tuesday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 25, marking the first slowdown in new cases since mid-December. Over the past week, there were no more COVID-19-related deaths marked among Malibu residents. As of Tuesday, Jan. 26—the one-year anniversary of the first known case of the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County—a total of 298 Malibuites have tested positive for the virus.

Testing continues to be offered at Malibu City Hall, in a joint effort between the city and Malibu Medical Group. The next date for testing will be Thursday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is required. Visit malibucity.org/coronavirus for more information.

Vaccine information

The much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine is now available for county residents over the age of 65, as well as healthcare workers, but there is no distribution within the city of Malibu.

Visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/vaccine for more information.