The mayor announced, starting tomorrow, that the city will “allow all retail businesses” to leave customers inside their stores as long as these companies comply with COVID best prevention practices, which only allow 50 % of capacity.
The decision will also authorize the reopening of films and places of worship accessible by car. This applies not only to the city of Los Angeles, but also to the county, as the guidelines were also approved on Tuesday by the board of supervisors.
The changes paved the way for the county to apply for a state exemption to allow other areas to reopen more quickly.
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“This is a good day for L.A.,” said Garcetti.
The stay does not include manicure stores, salons or restaurants for dining. Garcetti said the county is asking the state for a waiver for these companies and that the process should take “a few days.”
The reopening, however, includes one of Hollywood’s favorite hiking sites.
“Runyon Canyon is open,” said the mayor, before noting that there will be “counters” at the entrance to ensure that Runyon is not too crowded. In addition, traffic on the loop trail will only be allowed in one direction to facilitate social distancing.
“Take advantage, it’s back,” said Garcetti. “This is one of the best places in L.A.”
Garcetti’s retail announcement comes just days after Los Angeles County supervisor Janice Hahn petitioned California governor Gavin Newsom alleging the decisions to leave retailers at large surface stay open had created “winners and losers” which had a huge impact on small retailers. “This has to change,” wrote the supervisor.
Ironically, the same day Garcetti made his announcement, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed 27 new deaths and 1,843 new cases of coronavirus. It is the biggest spike in new cases reported in a single day. The county public health department, however, was quick to point out that some of these cases came from a backlog of test results.
Garcetti attributed the peak to “case compression” over the long weekend. He said the average now is around 1,200 new cases a day.
Almost every recent week has seen an increase in test results on Tuesday or Wednesday as a results bottleneck is released, but no spike was as large as Tuesday.
The Department of Health approved the reopening of the beach bike paths and parking lots, the mall’s curbside service and some vehicle parades late last week.
For comparison, the county confirmed 1,072 new cases on Friday.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, identified Los Angeles and two other major metropolitan areas on Friday as areas of concern as they have a “high and persistent number of cases”
Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, had a different point of view.
“As I noted yesterday,” Ferrer told reporters on Friday, “our overall data points look pretty good in terms of recovery. “
Ferrer said hospitalization and death rates are falling. “We are going in the right direction,” she said.