On Wednesday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced that many businesses and outdoor areas will reopen on Friday.
Stores, golf courses, and trails to open countywide
Stores such as florists, book stores, clothes stores, and others will open but will only allow for curbside pickup. Among larger businesses, outside of already essential businesses, car dealerships will be allowed to reopen across the county. Hiking trails, golf courses, and select parks will also reopen for citizens.
Coronavirus guidelines such as masks and 6 feet lengths between people will remain in place.
County officials did note that LA County will take longer than others to open due to the sheer size of the county and because of the city of Los Angeles is setting their own timetable and not following the county’s five phase plan.
“What’s best for other counties may not necessarily be right for Los Angeles County as we are the most densely populated county in the state, our guidelines will certainly look different for others,” explained Supervisor Barger.
Surrounding areas will also have limited re-openings. Most notably, Orange County will reopen beaches a little over a week after Governor Newsom ordered all California beaches closed due to crowds failing to meet social distancing guidelines on them. Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Huntington Beach are among the largest looking at recreation-only re-openings.
Most notably, the city of Los Angeles will not be following the county guidelines, as they have their own timeline with later projected reopening dates. According to city officials, this is largely due to the large population to the city and the additional challenges of reopening in a safe and timely manner.
“We want to make sure that we don’t do something reckless, and say, ‘Hey, we got out there a week or two weeks early,’ just to score political points,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference on Tuesday.
“If we open up the wrong way, we could have, by August 1st, 95 percent of us with COVID-19, and I don’t have to tell you the tens of thousands of deaths that would cause,” noted the Mayor last month. “I’m not going to let people die simply because folks feel we need to be wide open.”
Further recovery phases on track to happen soon
If all goes well following Friday, LA County will move onto the next phase in recovery as soon as the next week and lift more restrictions on stores, other businesses, and county facilities.
“Reopening is very important,” explained economics consultant William “Bill” Jager. “First off, businesses will reopen. That’s huge. Even if it’s pickup only, that means cash starts flowing again and the wheels of the economy start spinning a little faster. It will also lessen the need for unemployment as people go back to work, giving California a little relief there. Those Northern counties that reopened have already begun proving that.
There’s also the morale standpoint. People have been cooped up, and this will help bring some normalcy back to people’s lives. It’s a huge mental block to lift to go back to work in any capacity.
It’s too late to turn around this year into the black, but if we keep reopening across the state, we can lessen that blow. As long as California keeps up safe coronavirus practices, we’ll finally see something of an economic rebound.”
As of Wednesday, Los Angeles County has had 28,644 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus with a death toll of 1,367.