Over the next 10 days, indoor shopping malls, playgrounds, card rooms and nail salons in L.A. County can prepare to reopen.
The announcement was made Wednesday, as Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said these are “activities that we think can be done with a lot of safety and if done with with safety, we’re hopeful that we won’t see a big surge in cases.”
Both malls and nail salons will be allowed to open at 25% capacity, but the food courts inside the malls will remain closed.
While Cardrooms may reopen, it will be for outdoor gaming only with food and beverages not be allowed to be served, as of now.
Outdoor playgrounds will be able to reopen under the discretion of city officials, with face covering guidelines and physical distancing to be monitored by parents.
The Board of Supervisors also passed a motion on Tuesday to allow for breweries and wineries to resume outdoor operations. L.A. Public Health said it will be working on that reopening process within the coming days.
— Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) September 29, 2020
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gave the OK for California counties to reopen nail salons on September 22, but L.A. County had not committed to the regulations until now.
“People ask me on an ongoing basis, ‘Why the slow and stringent approach?’” Dr. Ghaly said at the time of the reopening announcement. “We want to be slow and stringent so as we move forward we can be best prepared in case we see some increase in transmission – that it doesn’t cause us to take one giant step backward.”
The positivity rate in L.A. County has decreased from an average of 8% in July to the current 3% average, which is also the lowest positivity rate since the start of the pandemic.
“We are relieved that we have not yet seen a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths following the Labor Day holiday,” Ferrer said Wednesday.
Even with the new reopening guidelines and lower positivity rates, the total number of weekly cases have not met the guidelines to move L.A. County down in its risk level, as it will remain at “Tier 1” for at least another three weeks, until the case rates drop.