California to reopen amid coronavirus fight

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More hiking trails and recreational areas reopened on Saturday as California continued to slow the recovery phase of its fight against the new coronavirus.

The Angeles National Forest reopened 23 popular trails, four starting points and 19 routes in the San Gabriel Mountains on Saturday. Forest officials will also begin to gradually reopen campsites, picnic areas and other “developed recreation” sites that have been banned since early April.

This was preceded by the reopening of the city and Los Angeles County trails on May 9, followed by the L.A. County beaches on Wednesday.

The city of Los Angeles’s Slow Streets initiative, which limits road traffic to neighborhood residents so people can walk, run and bike, was launched on Friday in Del Rey and Sawtelle.

“Learning to live with COVID-19 means finding creative ways to get out while staying close to home,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement.

The locations were chosen for the plans they created to meet public health guidelines, officials said in a press release. People who use the street are required to participate in active leisure activities, to wear a face covering and to stand six feet from others at all times.

California is entering phase 2 of the relaxation of its home stay orders. In addition to many outdoor spaces, companies deemed to be at lower risk were gradually allowed to reopen, with retailers offering only curbside pickup.

Many retailers are still adapting to the new rules, which also require them to have physical distance guidelines and infection control protocols in place.

At the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles, Kip’s Toyland reopened on Friday with only one worker per shift.

The store didn’t allow anyone inside on Saturday, but that didn’t stop customers from trying.

“We had a surprising number of people who came to the door, even though we tried to mainly place orders over the phone,” said Eli Margolis, “so I did this kind of crazy thing to have for run around the store and show them something they might like. “

“It was a bit difficult. But it’s up to me to understand and make suggestions. “

Margolis said there were four customers in the retro toy store in the early afternoon on Saturday. He sold puzzles, a workhorse and the board game Sorry!

“For the most part, I think it’s still sort of a strange period of stagnation right now, especially with everyone trying to reshape themselves – especially stores like us trying to remake our whole game plan and figure out how to somehow operate in this new world, “he said. “It’s strange for sure. “

Eugène flowers at La Puente allowed customers to enter the interior on Saturday but forced them to wear masks. One manager also described the attempt to move toward normality as surreal.

“It’s still a little weird,” said manager Liz, who refused to give her last name. “I feel like it’s slowly improving because we have people coming and calling. “

The store has been physically open since last week but had taken orders online and by phone before that.

As the customers returned slowly, the florist faced a different obstacle.

“The problem is that we are limited in our supply of flowers because of what is going on,” said Liz. “Flowers, it’s pretty rare there right now. The few who have flowers are now asking for a lot. “

Now Serving is a small independent bookstore in Chinatown that specializes in cookbooks and cookbooks. Ken Concepcion, who owns it with his wife, Michelle Mungcal, said that customers have not been in the store since March, and that he has turned to online sales and worked to present his inventory on his site Web.

“I still think we don’t know enough about the virus to be able to make final choices,” said Concepcion. He said they have a young child and an employee who lives with an elderly parent.

“It seems irresponsible to let someone in,” he said.

Customers place orders online and then pick them up, the store now serving as a store.

“We will place their goods on a table outside our door,” said Concepcion. “There is a lot of excitement, but there aren’t a lot of other interactions. “

Still, some companies said it was difficult to serve customers remotely.

“It doesn’t seem right,” said Donna Tabut, assistant director of Book Alley in Pasadena. “We are above all a secondhand bookstore. Many customers like to look at the book. “

Navigation is a key part of the store’s business model, she said.

“Someone will enter, they will not find the book they were looking for, and they will arrive in the registry with 10 books they did not expect to find. “

Still, the store was taking orders via its website, as well as by phone and email. Customers were also able to move around and look at the display window.

“As long as you are six feet from the store wearing a face covering, we will try to help you in any way possible,” said Tabut. “But we cannot allow anyone in the store at this time. “

At Just Ride L.A., a bicycle store in downtown Los Angeles, business was open throughout the pandemic and is booming.

“We can’t even rent anymore because we don’t have bikes for rent anymore,” said sales manager Darina Parker. “They steal shelves. We can barely hang onto all the bikes. “

Because the store is doing bicycle repairs, Parker said, it was considered a vital business and was allowed to stay open. Before the pandemic, Parker said, the store sold three or four bikes a day, but now sells 10 to 20.

At Golden Apple Comics on Melrose Avenue, the doors are still closed to customers, but people are picking up orders in the back parking lot. Owner Ryan Liebowitz said his store has not received any new comics since March due to the cessation of printing, distribution and shipping, but he expects to new comics are starting to arrive next week.

“Comic book stores live and die every week from their expedition,” said Liebowitz.

Until curbside pickup was recently allowed, said Liebowitz, Golden Apple relied on customers subscribing to titles through the store and online sales, with extensive online events designed to connect with customers.

“Our online sales are done through the roof,” he said. “We are waiting for phase three, where we can leave people inside the store. It hasn’t happened yet. “

Counties that meet certain criteria can apply for a waiver to move quickly to phase 2, allowing the opening of other businesses, such as restaurants and shopping centers.

Riverside County informed Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday that it was requesting such acceleration, saying it had met six of the seven criteria to reopen faster.

The county has a plan to protect essential workers and expand contact tracing capabilities; he also has sufficient testing capacity, the ability to protect vulnerable residents and sufficient surge capacity in his health system, the county supervisory board wrote in a letter to Newsom.

Regarding the seventh requirement – that a county must demonstrate that it has contained COVID-19 having had no deaths in the past 14 days, and no more than one case per 10,000 population in the past the same period – county officials said it was not achievable.

“In our opinion, the measures are unrealistic for urban counties, and Riverside County in particular, where our geographic size and population prevent any death from COVID-19 from causing a delay of 14 days” , they wrote.

Instead, they wrote, it would be more appropriate to adopt federal benchmarks, which the county already respects due to declining trends in cases, positive test results and symptomatic cases of influenza and COVID. -19.

Butte County is one of 22 counties that has certified to the state that it meets the conditions for reopening additional businesses.

But after someone who attended an in-person religious service on Mother’s Day tested positive for coronavirus, public health officials issued a strong warning to residents not to speed up too much quickly in the process.

The person received positive test results the day after the service, which had more than 180 participants, officials said in a statement on Friday.

Gatherings of any size are still prohibited, even in countries that reopen faster than the rest of the state. But the organization that organized the service chose to open its doors despite the rules, exposing the entire congregation to the coronavirus, officials said.

“This decision has a cost of several hours and a financial burden to respond effectively to slowing or halting the spread of COVID-19,” the statement said, noting that health officials are working to inform all who attended the service and instruct them. to self-quarantine. The county health department is also working with health care partners to get tests for all participants, officials said.

“Right now, organizations that organize in-person services or rallies are jeopardizing the health and safety of their congregations, the general public, and our local ability to open up,” said Danette York, director of health. County Public Authority, in a statement urging residents to follow home stay orders.

“Advancing too quickly in the reopening process can cause a major setback and could force us to revert to more restrictive measures,” said York.

Butte County public health official Andy Miller announced on Saturday that he was resigning, effective July 10. The decision was not linked to any particular incident or disagreement, the county public health department said in a statement.

Miller’s contract was to be renewed in the fall, and he wanted to give the health department more time to recruit a replacement, the statement said.

“We are ready to recruit a health worker who, like Dr. Miller, will guide us as we bring our economy back and keep this virus at bay,” said Shari McCracken, county administrative director, in a statement.

In Los Angeles County, which is home to nearly half of the state-confirmed coronavirus cases and more than half of the related deaths, authorities have said it is extremely unlikely that they will attempt to seek a waiver for reopen faster than the rest of the state.

But like the state, the county has suffered various impacts from the virus, with some areas less affected than others.

For this reason, Los Angeles County officials are trying to determine whether it is possible for individual cities that meet the standards to move to the next stage of reopening before other parts of the county.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Friday that the cities of Santa Clarita, Lancaster and Palmdale have approached the county to inquire about the reopening and appear to meet Newsom’s criteria.

She said she asked the county council and the Department of Public Health to provide an analysis to find out if there was anything in the governor’s order that would allow cities to do so.

“I think it is important that cities are able to meet their own criteria and reopen safely so that they do not depend solely on the county,” said Barger.



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