Los Angeles Slowly Opens. More Retailers Cleared To Open Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend

In this March 26, 2020, photo, a person takes in the afternoon sun amongst the cherry blossoms along Kelly Drive in Philadelphia. For millions of seasonal allergy sufferers, the annual onset of watery eyes and scratchy throats is bumping up against the global spread of a new virus that produces its own constellation of respiratory symptoms. That’s causing angst for people who suffer from hay fever and are now asking themselves whether their symptoms are related to their allergies or the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In this March 26, 2020, photo, a person takes in the afternoon sun amongst the cherry blossoms along Kelly Drive in Philadelphia. For millions of seasonal allergy sufferers, the annual onset of watery eyes and scratchy throats is bumping up against the global spread of a new virus that produces its own constellation of respiratory symptoms. That’s causing angst for people who suffer from hay fever and are now asking themselves whether their symptoms are related to their allergies or the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles County
today reopened some beach parking lots and authorized retail businesses inside
enclosed shopping malls to reopen with curbside pickup service only, while
continuing to warn of the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The changes came as county officials braced for a holiday weekend that
could again challenge residents’ resolve to adhere to stay-at-home
restrictions that bar large gatherings and require face coverings and social
distancing when residents interact with others.

“Based on the week that we opened up the trails and golf courses, I
was very proud of the L.A. County residents who really did recognize wearing a
mask and the social distancing that was in place,” said Kathryn Barger, chair
of the county Board of Supervisors. “So I’m confident moving into this
holiday, people will also recognize that is the reason why we talk about Safer
At Home moving to safer at work and safer in our communities. Because people
are recognizing that is the only way we’re going to stop or slow down the
spread of this virus.

“So I’m encouraging people — I know we are lifting restrictions in
certain areas. Please be responsible. This is the only way we are going to move
toward the next phase of opening. I know people are talking about opening up
small businesses. … The only way we’re going to get there is if we continue
to keep this flat. So I would encourage you all to just honor the request. It’s
not a big ask, given what we have in store for us.”

The county reported another 35 deaths due to coronavirus, although
five of those fatalities were announced Thursday afternoon by health officials
in Pasadena and Long Beach. The new deaths increased the county’s total to
2,049.

Public health director Barbara Ferrer said 93% of the people who died
had underlying health conditions, a slight increase of the 92% level of the
past several weeks.

“Over 35% of us here in L.A. County, sometimes the number can be as
high as 40%, have underlying health conditions,” Ferrer said. “So I know
sometimes folks think there’s a very tiny group of people who are at an
elevated risk of serious illness from COVID-19, but here in L.A. County it’s
one out of three of us.”

Ferrer also announced another 1,072 confirmed cases of the virus,
raising the countywide total to 43,052.

The county on Thursday reopened its 22-mile bike path that stretches
from Pacific Palisades to Torrance. The path had remained closed despite
beaches reopening last week for active use, in hopes of preventing large
gatherings of people on the often-congested trail.

On Friday, the county also announced the reopening of parking lots at
Dockweiler State Beach, Will Rogers State Beach, Zuma Beach and Surfrider
Beach, but only at partial capacity. With beaches reopening for at least
partial use, issues have arisen with people flocking to the coast but being
forced to find street parking in coastal neighborhoods, leading to congestion
issues.

County officials warned anyone heading to the beach that face
coverings are mandatory while not in the water. The active-use restriction also
forbids sunbathing on the sand, meaning chairs, umbrellas, canopies and coolers
are still barred. Piers, boardwalks and volleyball courts also remain off-
limits.

The county on Friday also authorized retail stores located in enclosed
shopping malls to reopen for curbside merchandise pickup only. Customers
are still not permitted to enter enclosed shopping malls. County officials
urged shopping malls to establish clearly marked curbside pickup areas for
customers to pick up goods.

Also approved on Friday were car parades to allow for celebrations of
graduations, birthdays or other occasions. The guidelines, however, require
participants to be inside enclosed vehicles — no convertibles — and if
windows are open, vehicle occupants must wear face coverings.

Large-scale parades much have a designated host and security to ensure
compliance with health regulations.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner
praised the change, which will allow students to celebrate their graduations.

“As we have said — and have wanted to do all along — we would allow
those at our schools to plan celebrations which include gatherings as long
as they are in accordance with guidelines from Los Angeles County health
authorities,” he said.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here