Los Angeles County’s top health official said she expects some form of coronavirus restrictions to remain in place at least through July for much of Southern California.
“We know with all certainty that we would be extending health officer orders, you know, for the next three months,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Unless there is a dramatic change in sort of this virus and the tools that we have at hand to actually fight against this virus, there’s no way that we could, in fact, see us not needing to continue with a set of restrictions,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer’s grim forecast came the same day Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who led the White House coronavirus effort, delivered a warning against reopening states too early while testifying in front of the Senate.
“This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal,” Fauci said.
Ferrer’s remarks worried Los Angeles residents — but an LA district supervisor, Kathryn Barger, later clarified that Ferrer’s comments were “taken out of context.”
While some believed Ferrer meant a full lockdown would remain in place for the next three months, Barger told a CBS affiliate that Ferrer meant the county will slowly reopen over that period with new, less restrictive guidelines.
“Relaxing the restrictions in the ‘Safer at Home’ order is an important focus for the County, which will be done gradually over the next few months,” Barger said.