Southern California Braces for Lockdown, Except for ‘Essential’ Entertainment Industry

Los Angeles skyline sunset (Josh Friedman / Flickr)
Josh Friedman / Flickr

Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley will enter a new coronavirus lockdown on Sunday night, with the exception of the entertainment industry and other sectors described as “essential.”

The orders will go into effect because these areas of the state have passed the threshold level of 15% or less capacity at hospital intensive care units (ICUs).

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The regions will implement the order Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Bars, wineries and personal-care services must close; restaurants must halt all dining; and gatherings of people from different households will be prohibited, the state confirmed. The rules will remain in place for at least three weeks.

The order — the latest in a series of attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent local healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed — is triggered when a region’s ICU capacity drops below 15%. Southern California’s ICU capacity Saturday was 12.5%, and the San Joaquin Valley’s was 8.6%, according to data released by the state.

Retail businesses will be limited to 20% customer capacity indoors, and stores will be required to ensure that there is no indoor eating or drinking.

Entertainment productions and professional sports will continue to be allowed, without live audiences.

Five counties in the San Francisco Bay Area will also be shutting down, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, with the stay-at-home orders in effect even longer than in Southern California, lasting through Jan. 4.

Some local business owners are irate at the preferential treatment for Hollywood. Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill owner Angela Marsden of Los Angeles posted a viral video on Friday showing a TV production’s active and approved outdoor dining tents across an alley from her restaurant’s identical outdoor dining setup, which had been shut down (as with all restaurants).

Some local counties also protested. Orange County and San Luis Obispo County, for example, have higher ICU capacity at the moment but are being forced to shut down because they are in the “Southern California” region.

Some local law enforcement authorities say they will not participate in enforcing stay-at-home orders.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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