69 cases as of Sunday
By Sam Catanzaro
The Santa Monica Pier, a destination that draws over 6 million visitors annually, has closed down in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“We welcome thousands of guests to our Pier each and every day, so we take this step out of the deepest desire to keep people at home and healthy,” said Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole.
On Sunday night, the City of Santa Monica issued an executive order under emergency powers to temporarily close Santa Monica Pier to the public as of Monday, March 16.
“The Santa Monica Pier Corporation is in full support of the city’s decision. Though this will heavily impact the Pier businesses and their staff, in this historic moment it’s the right thing to do,” Pier officials said in a statement.
According to the City, officials are monitoring CDC, State, and County Health Department guidance to determine when and/or how the Pier can be reopened to the public.
While restaurants in Santa Monica remain open on Sunday evening, the City of Los Angeles ordered the closure of all dine-in restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and gyms.
As of Sunday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has identified 69 cases of COVI-19; of these, 10 cases are likely due to community transmission. Five of the cases confirmed Sunday are hospitalized, the county says.
All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined, according to county health officials.
“We anticipate more cases and increased community spread as more testing occurs,” said Barbara Ferrer, Public Health Director. “We are asking everyone to expect more social distancing requirements as more cases are identified.