Many more local businesses may open or expand service as soon as July 4. The L.A. County Economic Resiliency Task Force today announced the holiday as a goal date for the county’s “safe reopening.” That means the county might see a full or modified reopening of dine-in restaurants, shopping malls, in-store retailers, and other businesses in just over six weeks.
That would appear to indicate the completion of “stage two” on the county’s “roadmap to recovery,” but exact details of all categories of businesses that might reopen in this stage or what, if any, capacity caps or other restrictions would be in place, were not included in today’s announcement.
“That’s a goal, but we have to get there,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said at a public briefing. “We have to it with scientific evidence and data, and making sure that everybody is adhering to the public health order.”
While the July date is a target, it will require continued trends toward containment of COVID-19. If things appear to be moving the wrong direction, brakes could still be applied.
“We have to do a lot of things right so we can actually get to that date,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County Public Health, told the Los Angeles Times. “I think the reality is that we are going to really aim together to get there as quickly as possible, but we’re going to pay attention to the data and science.”
Though new cases of COVID-19 continue to be confirmed daily, officials noted that their urgency to expand business operations is fueled by concern for the most economically vulnerable individuals in the county. According to a statement issued by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, more than three quarters of the job losses linked to the pandemic are workers with average annual incomes of $50,000 or less, and the largest concentration of those job losses has been in the retail and hospitality sectors.
“The economic and sociological impacts created by the COVID-19 shutdown have hurt our vulnerable populations the most,” Barger’s statement reads. “The County, in partnership with our Task Force members and key stakeholders, is prepared to move forward with recommendations that ensure the safety and well-being of employees and customers while safeguarding public health.”
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