On Wednesday, Los Angeles County began to reopen and planned to meet California’s Phase 3 reopening level following a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors vote Tuesday night.
LA County reopens
All businesses currently being allowed by the state to be open, such as drive-in movies, in-store retail up to 50% capacity, flea markets, complex-owned pools, and house of worship services up to 100 people or 25% of capacity will be allowed to reopen now due to loosened coronavirus restrictions by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released Tuesday.
Businesses that need additional approval due to increased health and Phase 3 restrictions, such as dine-in restaurants, barbershops, and salons, will need the state to give its “okay” to make sure all criteria to reopen have been met.
The Board’s Tuesday night decision follows Governor Newsom announcement allowing hair salons and barbershops to reopen, spurring further Phase 3 re-openings with house of worship and in-store retail guidelines being set into place.
A hope for quick state approval
Supervisors at the meeting Tuesday pushed for sending in the Phase 3 reopening variance to the state for approval immediately, noting that their medical and public health regulations met state reopening levels.
“Los Angeles County has dedicated critical resources to meet the benchmark criteria to support our efforts to reopen, including ensuring adequate hospital capacity, increasing access and availability of testing and contact tracing, and implementing protections for vulnerable populations,” noted Supervisor Kathryn Barger after the Supervisor’s meeting. “Aligning Los Angeles County’s health orders with that of the state is going to provide immediate relief to our communities. This important step will enable our residents and businesses to have greater clarity and consistency as we continue to take positive steps toward reopening Los Angeles County.”
While noting that many measures such as mandatory face coverings and social distancing measures would stay in place for the time being, other Supervisors gave similar positive responses after the vote.
“As long as community members follow safety rules, we can continue to make more progress,” announced Supervisor Hilda Solis. “Our houses of worship can once again welcome people inside. Shopping malls and communal flea markets can get back to business. I am so proud of all the progress we’ve made to protect our loved ones from COVID-19. Given our resilience and collective sacrifice, we are ready to take the next step to reopen our economy.”
The city of Los Angeles also reopens
The city of Los Angeles also confirmed that it would be reopening more as well.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that houses of worship and in-store retail would open up to state health standards, with barbershops and salons opening up as soon as the county order was lifted. Restaurants, however, will remain closed, as they will still only be pick-up only within the city for the time being due to virus concerns.
“We’ve earned the right way to do it,” Mayor Garcetti said during a press conference. “It’s time to make sure we don’t punish our local stores as we begin to fortify again our main streets.”
“This is guidance. Reopen when you are ready.”
Experts said that California’s largest county reopening will also have many exponential effects.
“Los Angeles County has the largest amount of unemployed people right now,” noted economist Tony Lofton. “This will make a significant dent into unemployment figures in California and ease the EDD burden at least a little bit.”
“It also makes shipping, trucking, and air freight somewhat easier due to more business and orders coming in. That leads to more money going around and more places being stocked.”
“LA County in particular was hurt badly by the coronavirus and the subsequent economic halt. There are a lot of gig workers there, and a lot of lower-income workers who were especially effected by the halt. Now a lot of them are coming back and having a bit more to spend. Plus bordering counties, especially for businesses there not yet open in LA County, will see a boost as well.”
“As long as a big outbreak doesn’t happen again, LA has joined the rest of the state in recovery.”
The state is due to approve Los Angeles County’s greater reopening variance soon.
As of Wednesday, Los Angeles County has had 48,700 cases of coronavirus to date, with 2, 195 deaths.
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