Los Angeles County allowed all retailers to open for pickup or delivery Wednesday except for those located within indoor shopping malls, which the state has closed.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said manufacturing and logistics businesses that supply retailers and some kinds of outdoor recreational facilities would also be allowed to reopen, including tennis courts and community gardens. Currently, certain types of retailers are permitted to offer pickup, trails, parks and golf courses have reopened, and people can use beaches for active recreation. Beach parking lots, bike paths, piers and boardwalks remain closed.
Retailers that reopen must ensure employees and customers practice physical distancing and wear face coverings, Ferrer said. Employees must regularly clean surfaces and make hand washing facilities or hand sanitizer available at all times. Customers will not be allowed inside stores.
Although Ferrer relaxed parts of the county’s Safer at Home order, she said the order itself will be extended indefinitely and people should still stay at home as much as possible to avoid infection.
She said L.A. County will reopen more slowly than the rest of the state because cases and deaths have continued to climb and the county is densely populated. Officials will monitor metrics that show whether the county is slowing the spread of coronavirus as they decide when to lift additional restrictions.
“We are reopening in stages,” she said. “We look at if businesses and activities can reopen safely based on the intensity of contact people have with each other and the ability to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in these spaces.”
Until an effective treatment, vaccine and at-home testing for coronavirus become widely available, the county will have to continue to use physical distancing, infection controls and case tracking to contain the virus, Ferrer said.
“This virus is relentless and we still have more people dying of COVID-19 every day in L.A. County than any other disease,” she said.
Public Health confirmed 47 new deaths and 1,264 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday, for a total of 34,428 cases and 1,659 deaths. Ferrer said the larger number of cases reported Wednesday could be attributed in part to a lag in test results.
More than 264,000 county residents have been tested thus far and 11% have tested positive.
Two hundred and twenty-two coronavirus cases were confirmed in Santa Monica Wednesday, an increase of 12% over the last week. Twelve residents have died from COVID-19, according to a county data dashboard.
One hundred and forty people living or working in the city’s nursing homes have tested positive for the virus, and 11 have died.
Beachwood Post Acute & Rehab, the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica and Ocean Pointe Healthcare Center continue to report the largest outbreaks.