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LA County Announces Some Businesses, Spaces Can Reopen Friday; Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Top 28K

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Certain businesses and recreational spaces in Los Angeles County will be allowed to reopen beginning Friday, county officials announced at today's media briefing.

According to County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the list includes:

  • Hiking trails (Barger said county staff "will be deployed to prevent crowding.")
  • Golf courses
  • Florists
  • Car dealerships
  • “Stores that sell toys, books, clothing, sporting goods and music”

Curbside pick-up remains in effect for those soon-to-reopen retail businesses, officials said.
Barger said the easing of restrictions in L.A. County aligns with the directives at the state level, adding:

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"This list is less about what products are sold and more about the ability to maintain social distancing. We are finalizing the details and we'll have all the information and guidelines for businesses up on our website before the order goes into effect."

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer explained the five stages of reopening the county is enacting. Right now, we're in Stage 1, which includes the current stay-at-home orders and planning for recovery. But Stage 2 will begin Friday as that first batch of businesses reopen.

In the coming weeks, more businesses deemed low-risk — like manufacturing and certain office spaces and retailers — will also be allowed to reopen. Stage 2 reopenings will eventually include libraries, art galleries and museums — all in a "much-modified way," Ferrer said, to ensure proper social distancing and infection control. She also noted that companies are encouraged to allow workers to continue to work from home "wherever that's possible."

Stage 3 will see some higher-risk businesses reopen their doors at limited occupancy levels — while observing all of the same social distancing and public health measures, Ferrer said. Those businesses include tattoo shops, massage parlors, bars, movie theaters and bowling alleys. It will eventually include K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

Businesses deemed "highest-risk" can begin to reopen in Stage 4. Those include concert venues, convention centers and sports stadiums.

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This slide from L.A. County's May 6 media briefing outlines the five-stage plan for reopening businesses and public spaces countywide. (Courtesy County of Los Angeles)
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Ferrer also outlined steps businesses will be required to take to limit the spread and protect both workers and customers:

"As we move through the stages of recovery, we will be issuing protocols for each sector, on what measures they must take to slow the spread of COVID-19, and these do include... limiting in-person work and ensuring that vulnerable workers have alternate assignments, providing cloth face coverings and personal protective equipment to all employees, and asking that anyone entering the business, also wear a cloth face covering. And, of course, developing policies that make it easy for employees to stay home when they're sick, or they're under a mandatory quarantine."

TODAY'S NUMBERS

L.A. County officials reported 851 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 28,644 cases countywide. In total, 789 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 482 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also reported 55 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 1,367.

Of the 55 people who’ve died in the past 24 hours, 41 were over 65 and, of those victims, 27 had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. Twelve victims were between 41 and 65 and 11 of them had underlying health conditions.

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So far, 92% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.

Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 1,260 of the victims. According to the latest available information:

  • 12% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 19% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
  • 39% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 28% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander [0.4% of county residents]
  • 1% identified as belonging to a different race or ethnicity

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