LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Superior Court of Los Angeles County will be closed today through Thursday in an emergency effort to control spread of the coronavirus.
Courts will reopen Friday “for the limited purpose of hearing or handling essential or emergency matters in criminal, civil, probate, family law and dependence/juvenile cases.”
As part of the new measures, no new jurors will be summoned for any civil or criminal jury trials for the next 30 days, and trial judges presiding over any jury trial in session may exercise their discretion to either continue the trial or declare a mistrial.
A total of 94 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Los Angeles County and Dr. Barbara Ferrer, head of the county Department of Public Health, said the agency is continuing to see an increase in “community transmission” of the illness -- meaning people are contracting the virus without any known source of exposure.
In an effort to “flatten the curve” of new cases through social distancing, the county ordered the immediate closure of all bars, fitness centers and entertainment centers. Restaurants will also no longer be able to offer sit-down service, but will be restricted to takeout or delivery service.
The mandate applies to all cities within the county, as well as unincorporated areas.
The city of Los Angeles issued a similar mandate for the city Sunday night, following Gov. Gavin Newsom's recommendation that such restrictions be enacted statewide. Newsom also recommended people older than 65 self-quarantine in their homes because they are more susceptible to becoming more seriously ill if they contract the virus.
Newsom said Sunday that six people in the state have died of COVID-19.
Mayor Eric Garcetti raised the city's emergency response status Monday to its highest level in order to be able to request more federal and state assistance to combat the outbreak.
Los Angeles will not issue parking tickets during street sweeping hours in residential areas and payment of parking fines was delayed until June 1, Garcetti said. Metered parking spaces outside businesses will continue to be enforced.
The Los Angeles Police Department said the first case of COVID-19 within the department was confirmed Sunday in one of its Pacific Division supervisors. The supervisor exhibited flu-like symptoms March 5 and was sent home. He is improving and expects to make a full recovery, according to the LAPD.
On Sunday, officials announced that a police officer at Los Angeles International Airport, a member of the Airport Police, had also tested positive.
Two contract workers testing arriving passengers for signs of coronavirus at LAX had previously been confirmed as testing positive for the illness.
Dr. Christina Ghaly, who runs the county hospital system, asked residents to preserve emergency room capacity at all area hospitals for those in need.
Like many of the roughly 100 hospitals across Los Angeles County, county hospitals will be canceling elective surgeries to increase capacity. The county is also increasing access to tele-medicine services.
Los Angeles County has closed all of its buildings because of the coronavirus, Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger said. County hospitals and clinics will remain open. It's not yet known how long the closures will remain in effect.
The number of coronavirus cases in Orange County stands at 22 this morning and South Coast Plaza was closed until March 31 after an employee tested positive for the virus and the county's courthouses were ordered closed through March 29.
Orange County Superior Court officials announced Monday evening that the county's courthouses in Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Fullerton, Orange and Westminster will be closed through March 29.
The city of Santa Monica closed the Santa Monica Pier, parking deck and affiliated businesses as part of its local emergency proclamation.
An emergency ordinance closing most businesses in Beverly Hills, including on the famed Rodeo Drive, was in effect following an emergency meeting by its City Council in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The ordinance calls for the closure of “all non-essential retail businesses,” except for pick up, delivery and certain transactions by appointment.
All bars and nightclubs in the city that do not serve food are closed. Those bars and nightclubs that do serve food “may remain open only for the purposes of continuing to prepare and offer food to customers via delivery service or to be picked up,” the order stated.
Dining in is prohibited, but parking in front of businesses will be accommodated “to allow for easier access,” according to the order.
Also closed are all movie theaters, live performance venues, gyms, fitness centers, spas, hair salons, massage parlors and nail salons in the city that do not provide medical care or supplement medical care. Elective medical and surgical procedures, including elective dental procedures, are prohibited.
The order is in effect until the city's local emergency is canceled.
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank announced Monday a $250,000 gift from the Los Angeles Chargers to help ensure hunger relief services continue uninterrupted for Los Angeles County children, seniors, individuals and families amid the coronavirus crisis.
Northgate Gonzales Market chain will open all of its 41 Southern California locations one hour early each day for senior citizens and disabled customers. The chain has 19 stores in Los Angeles County and 13 in Orange County. Locations can be found on the company's website.
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