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Morning Brief: Confusion Prevails When It Comes To What's Open And What's Not

Vaccinations will be conducted at Dodger Stadium to those with appointments. Chava Sanchez/LAist
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Good morning, L.A.

State and local officials are once again confusing everyone with the news that some businesses in L.A. County can reopen.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that the state would lift its stay-at-home order, handing reopening control back to the leadership of California’s 58 counties.

The state order was in place for one-and-a-half months, overriding both county and city lockdown regulations. When it was first issued in December, Newsom’s order contained two tenets that inspired outrage: the shuttering of outdoor dining, and the closing of personal care services, such as nail and hair salons — even those that were operating at minimum capacity.

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It was, however, the dining mandate that really struck a nerve. County and city officials could not agree on whether to adhere to the state’s guidelines with regards to outdoor dining; after being asked by L.A. City’s governing body to overturn the ban, L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors upheld it instead.

As the weeks ticked by, though, and SoCal’s coronavirus cases and deaths continued to grow at staggering rates, the importance of staying at home began to sink in. Two weeks ago, county officials described the regional loss of life as “horrific.”

To that end, when Newsom made his announcement on Monday, L.A. officials could have opted to ignore it and kept outdoor dining and personal care services off-limits. Instead, they jumped on board.

Unfortunately, this lack of clarity and back-and-forth has come to be the defining principle of California’s and L.A.’s approach to issuing coronavirus guidance. Confusion abounds, and the right hand never seems to know what the left hand is doing.

Or, as this TikToker brilliantly put it:

@mattgrippi thanks gavin newsom for really being on top of all of this #california #fun #beach #losangeles

♬ original sound - Matt Grippi

Keep reading for more on what’s going in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

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Before You Go … How Food And Chaos Bonds L.A.’s Salvadoran Community

Roberto Lovato's father, Ramon, in Hunt's Donut Shop, circa 1980. (Courtesy of Roberto Lovato)

“The connection between food and crisis is one of the open secrets of Salvadoran life, both in Los Angeles and beyond.”

So writes LAist guest contributor Robert Lovato, in an examination of how his Salvadoran heritage has informed his life as an Angeleno and beyond. Lovato explains that many Salvadorans in L.A. planned to return home one day, then soon found themselves bound to the U.S. by family, work and the hope for safety.

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