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Gov. Newsom: Barbershops, Hair Salons Can Reopen — But Not In LA County


Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on California's response to coronavirus, including allowing for the reopening of barbershops and hair salons in much of the state. You can read highlights below or watch the full press conference above.


Newsom noted that the U.S. is close to hitting 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths — California is approaching 100,000 Californians testing positive for coronavirus, with close to 3,800 deaths in California.

There were 19 COVID-19 deaths yesterday, with more than 2,000 new positives.

Of those who've tested positive, 19.5% were over the age of 65, while 79.2% of the deaths were seniors, Newsom said. He said that the elderly and those with compromised immune systems have "very, very high risk," and asked everyone to remember these groups as the state starts to open up.


The governor said that he was open to some parts of L.A. County opening sooner than others, given its size, and that the state was working with the county to make that possible.

Newsom pointed out that Los Angeles County, which has more than 10 million residents, has a "budget that's as large as many, many states in our union. "

He also acknowledged that within the county there are "geographic disparities and the spread of this virus being disparate among different regions within county."


So far 47 counties have filed action plans with the state that allow them to move further into reopening than the state as a whole, including some aspects of Phase Three of the state's reopening plans. Those counties will be allowed to reopen barbershops and hair salons starting today, with face coverings and other sanitation requirements.

However, L.A. County has not yet reached that point. Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties have — here's the list of all the counties with variances.


Newsom said state officials are worked with lawmakers to determine health guidance that would allw for nail salons and other personal care services to open back up. Guidelines for barbershops and hair salons are up on the state's website. He noted that his own collection of three barbers didn't follow those guidelines — those barbers are his 6-, 8-, and 10-year-old.

"They had at me. It was a family effort to remove what was described by my wife as, forgive me, 'a mullet,'" Newsom said.


Newsom said that the state is working more formally with the film industry, as well as labor, which has led to delaying the release of guidelines for the film industry to later this week or into the weekend.

The industry and labor asked for more time as they work through some issues, Newsom said. The governor noted the national implications of their plans as well, hoping to go together with other states around the country.


Concerts, large festivals, conventions, and sports with fans aren't coming back yet, Newsom said. More of the responsibility for whether an area can move forward will be given to county health departments as the state moves forward, according to the governor.


The governor cited three studies that found minimal amounts of voter fraud in mail-in ballots, Newsom said, defending the state's plans to expand mail-in voting to protect public health.


Over the weekend, in-store retail was allowed to open up statewide, as well as allowing houses of worship to have people for services in person, with modifications. Those options have yet to open in areas such as L.A. County. And those places of worship can only reopen with either 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever number is smaller.

The governor talked about Californians starting to mix with people who they haven't been mixing with during the coronavirus outbreak thus far. He stressed the importance of physical/social distancing and wearing face coverings, and noted that we are not yet out of the first wave of infections.

Newsom said that some over the Memorial Day weekend did not practice social distancing in the way he would have liked to have seen in public places.

More guidelines on reopening summer camps will be released Wednesday, as well as more details on opening child care and schools.


The state's coronavirus positivity rate is staying steady, Newsom said. Over the past week, 4.2%; 4.1% over the past two weeks.

Hospitalizations and ICU numbers went up slightly over the past 24 hours, Newsom said, but they are slightly declining. Over a 14-day average, hospitalizations are down 6.7%. ICU numbers are staying steady and not going down, but capacity has been significantly increased.

The state has distributed 41.2 procedure masks over the past two weeks, Newsom said. There are 11,000 ventilators available, and the state has more that can be made available.

Over the weekend, 67,000 people were tested Saturday, 61,000 on Sunday, and a little more than 50,000 people on Monday, Newsom said.

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LA County Approves Slow Streets Program For Unincorporated Communities

L.A. County's Slow Streets program will be similar to initiatives launched in cities including Los Angeles and Pasadena. (Courtesy Joslyn Treece)

Los Angeles County leaders today approved a plan to create a “Slow Streets” program for unincorporated communities — similar to the initiatives launched in several local cities, including L.A. and Pasadena.

The Board of Supervisors approved a motion at their board meeting directing the county’s public health and the public works departments to work together to:

  • develop guidelines for rolling out a program with “simple design solutions” — like signs
  • select five to 10 roadways in unincorporated communities “that make viable Slow Streets candidates”
  • develop a simple, low-cost — or possibly free — permit so community-based organizations can apply to bring the program to more neighborhoods

The motion from Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn underscores the lack of access in many unincorporated communities to parks, open space and even sidewalks wide enough to allow social distancing:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made the inequities that exist in these underserved communities readily apparent, and there is an opportunity to leverage the data collected through the County’s 2020 Vision Zero Action Plan and 2016 Parks Needs Assessment in order to create a program that allows neighborhoods to minimize traffic on local roads and create safe environments for residents conducting essential activities.”

Solin and Hahn also cited the notable increase in speeding on local roadways, as some drivers feel enboldened by lighter traffic volumes.

The departments are to report back in two weeks with their plan.


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Support For Transgender Troops Is High In The Military, Study Finds

Marine judge advocate Emma Shinn (left) takes her oath of office in 2019. (Courtesy of Emma Shinn)

Emma Shinn joined the Marines in 1994. Ten years later, she was an infantry platoon sergeant in Iraq. Today, she's a Marine judge advocate at Camp Pendleton.

Shinn transitioned in 2016, the same year President Obama allowed transgender people to serve openly in the military.

Even though President Trump reversed the rule the next year, Shinn can remain a Marine because she enlisted before the policy change.

And she's heartened by a recent UCLA study that finds two-thirds of cisgender active duty military personnel support transgender service members.


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Morning Briefing: Is Going To Church Worth The Risk?

Saint Monica's Catholic Church in Santa Monica (Theodore Wood via Flickr Creative Commons)

Never miss a morning briefing. Subscribe today to get our A.M. newsletter delivered to your inbox.

How is it already almost the end of May? So much has happened, 2019 feels like five years ago. I don't know about you, but by the end of each day my brain is 99% broken.

It's hard to keep up with all the changes, even for those of us who read news for a living. Thankfully, we have a guide for that, which I find myself referring to often. Human beings are super adaptable creatures, but as normal life starts to resume, some of us will be slower than others to embrace the uncertainty.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that as more things reopen, officials are still urging people to stay at home as much as possible. So, the message is: stay at home unless you urgently need to go out for essential items. But, also, if you urgently want to go to the beach or the park or trails for non-essential activities (or to church, which may or may not be essential), that's cool with us.

If you sit down on the sand, though, we will publicly shame you (and the shamers are watching).

We asked Garcetti how Angelenos should evaluate risk this past weekend and he basically said: you do you. If you want to take a risk, do it. If not, turn off social media because FOMO is back in business.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today

– Gina Pollack

Coming Up Today, May 26

Emily Elena Dugdale writes about a new study that found broad support for transgender troops among active-duty personnel.

The Past 24 Hours In LA

Memorial Day Report Card: Across the county, the vast majority of people wore masks and observed social distancing over the Memorial Day weekend, with one big exception: Eaton Canyon. So many people flooded the popular trail, some jumping over fences, that officials had to shut it down. Hermosa Beach's reopening of the Strand went more smoothly.

A Long, Hot Summer: We're bracing ourselves for another heat wave this week. But cooling off in a pool might not be the best option right now...unless you're lucky enough to have one in your backyard. Even though the virus doesn't spread in water, it does spread through people in water.

Mental Health With A Side Of Rice: For a lot of Asian immigrants, especially seniors, it can be hard to cook with foreign food, even when times are tough. A few organizations banded together to help bring them some more familiar items, like ramen and rice. Also, over a thousand social workers, psychiatrists and counselors volunteered to give pro-bono mental health relief to frontline medical workers.

Down, Up, Down: Violent crime is down, but car thefts are up. Home sales have tanked. And state prisons will continue to accept new inmates, even after over 700 men and women tested postive at facilities in Corona and Chino.

Let's Get Spiritual: Forest Lawn made their Memorial Day celebration virtual and you can still watch it if you need a patriotic pick-me-up. Churches and other places of worship got the green light from the state of California to reopen, pending county approval. State health officials suggest increasing ventilation and skipping group hymns. Retailers across the state can also resume in-store shopping. But don't run to the mall: stores will need permission from the county, too.

Your Moment Of Zen

A bunch of musicians in Echo Park played taps from their balconies in honor of Memorial Day. Associate Editor Lisa Brenner's husband contributed some trumpet tunes.

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