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Here are the key parts of the “Safer at Home” order:

  • Angelenos are directed to stay in their residences and limit activity outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary for essential tasks — including to secure food and health care, safety and medical necessities, as well as to care for children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
  • Many businesses — including malls, many shops, companies, and nonprofit organizations — must stop operations that require workers to be present in-person.
  • No public and private gatherings that would occur outside of a single home will be allowed.

There are exceptions to this order. Please see our Safer at Home FAQ for a list of the essential activities and businesses that will remain open and other important information.

This order will be effective Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. For a 24-hour period following that effective date and time, employees and business owners will be exempt to allow access to their workplaces to gather belongings, so long as social distancing requirements are followed. Such workplaces shall remain closed to the public in accordance with this order.

The order will be in place through April 19, 2020 and is subject to extension.

Almost half of coronavirus patients have digestive symptoms, study finds

Diarrhea and other digestive symptoms are the main complaint in nearly half of coronavirus patients, Chinese researchers report. Most patients with the coronavirus have respiratory symptoms, but these findings from the early stages of the outbreak show that digestive problems are prevalent in many patients with COVID-19.

“Clinicians must bear in mind that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, may be a presenting feature of COVID-19, and that the index of suspicion may need to be raised earlier in these cases rather than waiting for respiratory symptoms to emerge,” wrote the investigators from the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19.

The researchers analyzed data from 204 COVID-19 patients, average age nearly 55, who were admitted to three hospitals in the Hubei province between Jan. 18 and Feb. 28, 2020. The average time from symptom onset to hospital admission was 8.1 days.

However, the finding showed that patients with digestive symptoms had a longer time from symptom onset to hospital admission than patients without digestive symptoms, 9 days versus 7.3 days.

This suggests that patients with digestive symptoms sought care later because they didn’t yet suspect they had COVID-19 due to a lack of respiratory symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath, the researchers explained.

Patients with digestive symptoms had a variety of problems, including loss of appetite (nearly 84%), diarrhea (29%), vomiting (0.8%) and abdominal pain (0.4%).

Seven of the patients in the study had digestive symptoms but no respiratory symptoms.

As the severity of the disease increased, digestive symptoms became more serious, the researchers found.

Patients without digestive symptoms were more likely to be cured and discharged than those with digestive symptoms (60% versus 34%), according to the study published March 18 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

If doctors only monitor for respiratory symptoms to diagnose COVID-19, they may miss cases that initially present with other symptoms, or the disease may not be diagnosed until after respiratory symptoms emerge, the authors explained.

“In this study, COVID-19 patients with digestive symptoms have a worse clinical outcome and higher risk of [death] compared to those without digestive symptoms, emphasizing the importance of including symptoms like diarrhea to suspect COVID-19 early in the disease course before respiratory symptoms develop,” Dr. Brennan Spiegel, journal co-editor-in-chief, said in a journal news release.

“This may lead to earlier diagnosis of COVID-19, which can lead to earlier treatment and more expeditious quarantine to minimize transmission from people who otherwise remain undiagnosed,” Spiegel said.