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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020

Steps taken to combat COVID-19 surge


Laguna Beach is taking steps to meet the challenge of the surge in COVID-19 cases that this week put Orange County back in the Purple Tier, the most restrictive in the state’s rating system.

“Some industries have to close their indoor operations,” Police Captain Rachel Johnson told the City Council on Tuesday. “Those industries include [houses] of worship, gyms and fitness centers, museums, non-essential offices, and restaurants, among others.”

However, unlike the restrictions imposed last summer, hair and nail salons and barbershops may remain open with modification. Retail shops may also stay open but must limit shoppers to 25 percent of capacity and close food courts or common areas.

Laguna’s Face Mask Advisory Team will be out this weekend to educate the public and hand out masks to those who should be wearing them – anyone who is within six feet of another person and is not eating or drinking.

Laguna took steps early on to limit the spread of the coronavirus: the first coastal city to close its beaches and then reopen them cautiously. City officials also strongly supported outdoor dining to help local restaurants to survive the pandemic. 

The reversion to the purple tier came in response to the significant increase in case numbers locally and statewide, Johnson said.

The county will be in the purple tier for a minimum of three weeks followed by two consecutive weeks with red zone metrics before an upgrade is approved. 

Surging COVID-19 numbers reflect infections that likely occurred the week that includes Halloween, which were sharply higher than the previous two weeks, probably due to increased community activity during the past two months, Johnson said. 

“The trend of rising case numbers will continue to be a challenge as the weather turns cooler and wetter, making outdoor gatherings less desirable, and as the holidays draw nearer, the desire to hold gatherings is the strongest,” said Johnson.

In addition to the rising number of COVID-19 related cases, the flu season has begun. 

“Now more than ever, it is important to double down on physical distancing, hand hygiene, and wearing face masks,” said Johnson. 

The state on Monday mandated wearing masks in most settings. 

“This is a team effort,” said Johnson. “Our ability to flatten the curve again relies on all of us doing our part to follow guidance: stay home when we are sick and wear face coverings,” said Johnson.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

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