California Eases COVID-19 Restrictions, Allows 3 Households to Socialize
California has eased its COVID-19 restrictions Friday, now allowing at most three households to gather outdoors.
As per the new COVID-19 restrictions, up to three California households can socialize as long as they wear masks and follow other safety measures, reported KTLA.
California Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials revised the existing measures to prevent bigger gatherings as the holiday season gets nearer.
Newsom noted that there are additional COVID-19 restrictions to keep in mind for people tempted to meet relatives and close friends during Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other holidays.
There is no limit to the number of people included in a single household, reported KPBS, but the state said the smaller a group is, the better.
The California Department of Public Health released the new safety precautions designed to stem the virus. Before this rule was in place, the state discouraged gatherings outside a single household.
The state has recognized that apart from the temptations to meet for the holidays, close friends and relatives have also been apart for so long.
The state's Health and Human Services secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said with that much time apart, families would surely want to be together.
Limitations with Gatherings
The state suggests gatherings should be limited to outdoor spaces like yards and parks. It should also be at most two hours long to limit mixing, said an ABC 7 report.
If the gathering will involve singing, chanting, or shouting, the state also reminded people to wear face masks and maintain social distancing to avoid spreading.
"Participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged," the guidance read.
Those who are at high COVID-19 risk, like seniors and those with pre-existing conditions, should not attend gatherings. Ghaly added that they are still not encouraging gatherings per se.
"(The guidance) is really not to say that it's a good idea or appropriate to gather, but to say (with) more than three households, you really are increasing your risk," he said in a briefing Monday.
Ghaly said the guidance was "a way to tee up future guidance around how to minimize our risk."
California Nearing Record Lows
While most of the county is suffering from a virus' resurgence, California sees some record lows. Hospitalizations, including intensive care patients, are at their lowest levels.
For two weeks, the rate of positive tests has also hovered at around 2.6 percent. The number of weekly cases has also flattened after the peak summer season. Daily deaths are falling, only at 60 for the most recent seven days.
Newsom clearly wants to keep the numbers low, encouraging Californians to continue meeting safety precautions. He said that, as the state enters the holidays, gatherings were just unavoidable.
"We're entering into part of the year where things cool down and people are more likely to congregate back indoors," he said as he reminded people that these events put people physically closer together.
He also reminded the public of the risks of transmitting the virus once people gather. Even the less restrictive guidelines are advising that it's best not to go beyond three households.
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