LA County Gyms, Hotels, Museums And More Can Begin Reopening Friday. Here's What We Know So Far
Los Angeles County officials announced a new phase of reopenings can begin this Friday, June 12.
The businesses and settings can reopen to the public “once they implement the required protocols for infection control and distancing,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, speaking at a regular update of the county's coronavirus task force via remote live stream (which you can replay above).
The following types of businesses in L.A. County will be allowed to open Friday if they are following the county health guidelines:
- Gyms and fitness facilities
- Professional sports arenas without live audiences
- Day camps
- Art galleries
- Zoos and aquariums
- Campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation, including swimming pools
- Music, film and television production
- Hotels for leisure travel
Health protocols for each setting will be available on the department's website, officials said.
TOO MUCH TOO SOON?
A few reporters listening in to today's briefing asked versions of the same question: Are county officials moving too fast without a sense of how the reopenings so far will affect the transmission rate? Given the incubation period of the virus, it can take a couple weeks before the viral load is high enough to show up on a test — or lead to symptoms.
Ferrer reitereated that mass gatherings are still prohibited — except for public demonstrations and in houses of worship — and all social distancing and face covering guidelines still apply. She also noted that, even as confirmed cases and deaths continue to climb, county officials are keeping tabs on the hospitalization rate as a gauge for how reopening is going. She said:
"A month ago, we were hovering at about 1,800 people in the hospital every day. Today and for most of this week we've been about... 1,450 people in the hospital every day. So these, again, are signs that, while we have more cases, it's not necessarily resulting in a dramatic increase in hospitalizations, which again, would be a sign for major concern for us, but we're going to have to watch the data really carefully going forward."
One particular business was not on today's list: nail salons.
Asked why these businesses are still not allowed to reopen, Ferrer explained that nail salons are still barred from reopening statewide, and California's Department of Public Health hasn't issued official guidance for how that can be done at the county level.
BY THE NUMBERS
Los Angeles County officials reported 1,275 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 67,064 cases countywide. In total, 2,396 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 1,008 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).
Ferrer also reported 61 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 2,768 people.
So far, 93% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.
The death toll at institutional facilities in L.A. County continues to climb. Ferrer reported that 1,458 residents at those facilities have died, and 90% lived in nursing homes.
Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 2,569 of the victims:
- 12% African American [9% of county residents]
- 17% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
- 41% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
- 28% White [26.1% of county residents]
- “Slightly less than” 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander [0.4% of county residents]
- 1% identified as belonging to another race or ethnicity
OVERALL LOOK AT LA COUNTY NUMBERS:
Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. County or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Tuesday, June 9:
Note, again, that although cases are climbing, the county says hospitalizations have remained relatively flat.
TESTING AT NURSING HOMES
Ferrer reported that, as of Tuesday, 272 skilled nursing facilities in the county have tested all residents and staff. Another 43 facilities "are scheduled or in the process of conducting testing," she said, which would complete initial testing at all 315 nursing homes operating in L.A. County — excluding facilities in Long Beach and Pasadena.
So far, over 25,000 people who live or work in those facilities have been tested, and 7% tested positive for COVID-19. The majority of those positive tests (83%) did not show symptoms of the virus.
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