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Despite draconian lockdown measures, Los Angeles is now the nation's hottest spot for COVID-19 infections

Failure

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

By all accounts, Los Angeles and its surrounding areas have consistently had some of the strictest — if not the strictest — lockdown measures in the country. They were one of the first areas of the country to institute a "stay at home order," one of the last areas of the country to partially reopen this summer, and one of the first areas to institute mask mandates and strict lockdown measures when COVID-19 began to see a resurgence in the winter.

In fact, while most of the rest of the country has at least resumed some of the activity that was paused by lockdowns even as winter has driven case numbers higher, California instituted a nighttime curfew in late November and Los Angeles instituted a second stay-at-home order on Nov. 27, making it one of the few jurisdictions in America to do so.

While almost every other county in America has had some measure of in-person learning in schools, Los Angeles schools (as well as schools in the rest of the state) have remained stubbornly closed.

Los Angeles has also taken harsher enforcement measures against individuals and businesses who do not comply with the coronavirus lockdown orders, levying huge fines and even threatening utility cutoffs for businesses and residents who don't comply.

None of it has helped — nor, for that matter, has Los Angeles' famously moderate climate. Los Angeles has experienced a 1,000% increase in COVID-19 cases since Nov. 1, according to the Los Angeles County director of health, and the virus shows no sign of slowing down. Hospitals in the county report that they are overflowing with COVID-19 cases.

Los Angeles County is, by all accounts, the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

County officials seem mostly content to double down on the measures that have thus far failed to contain the spread of the virus, even going so far as to issue recommendations for Los Angeles residents to wear masks inside their homes. They are also mounting a full-court press to convince the public to actually abide by the coronavirus guidelines, even though their most prominent leaders have not.

According to most recent estimates, as many as 1 in 3 Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. Los Angeles public health experts have blamed the area's soaring infection rate on its population density, as well as massive "pandemic fatigue" and refusal to comply with regulations on the part of the public.

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