On Sunday, dozens of protestors gathered outside of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer’s home in the LA neighborhood of Echo Park demanding that Los Angeles County reopen and not introduce more restrictive measures planned to begin on Monday.
The protest came less than 24 hours until more COVID-19 “Safer at Home” orders were to be put into place in LA County, including not having gatherings with people outside of the household, limiting capacity to 35% for essential retailers and 20% for non-essential retailers, the closure of playgrounds and card rooms, and restaurants halting all outdoor dining with the exception of the city of Pasadena. The order, which lasts until December 20th, was only the latest instituted by Dr. Ferrer, including a pre-Thanksgiving order that added a curfew for the county.
The protesters who gathered on Sunday were against further restrictions in the county, citing both confusing scientific data about COVID-19 in LA County and the need to keep businesses open during a critical time.
Twitter posts from Sunday showed how the protest quickly grew from around a dozen people over 50 in a short amount of time.
There are about 15 people here in Echo Park protesting new COVID-19 restrictions outside the house of Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the head of the L.A. County health department. They’re chanting: “No science. No data. No shutdown.” pic.twitter.com/2ncgsKe0vk
— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) November 30, 2020
Many protesters shouted chants such as “No Science, no data, no shutdown,” with others taking a more nuanced approach to the protest.
“No one is seeing this side of things,” explained Lucas King, an Echo Park resident who joined the protesters on Sunday. “We need to keep businesses open and healthy, and by reducing customers during a time of the year where most retailers hope to go back into the black is insane.
“A lot of people were out there yesterday because they didn’t think there was enough data on all of this health-wise, but so many more are worried about the economics of it all. LA just condemned a lot of businesses. I’d like to say I hope they know what they are doing, but I know better.”
Despite the protesters on Sunday, Dr. Ferrer said that more restrictions may happen in LA County if things don’t get better soon.
“If this doesn’t work and two to three weeks from now we find ourselves in a worse place than we are, we’re going to have to go back and look at what else do we have as options,” explained Ferrer on Monday.
More measures are expected to be taken in LA County in the coming weeks, as health officials have hinted that a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases may lead to a stricter lockdown.
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