Ferrer: ‘Safer at Home’ order ‘does not have an end date’

Los Angeles County Seal.
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Los Angeles County’s Public Health director said Wednesday the countywide “Safer at Home” order does not have an expiration date, and would gradually be relaxed. 

Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday during a live county broadcast, just two days before the previously announced May 15 expiration date of the county lockdown directive, that the county was issuing a “new Safer at Home health officer order” that included two additional categories of lower-risk businesses that can reopen. 

The new order, Ferrer clarified, does not have a deadline for officials to lift but is rather meant to indicate the county entering a new phase of its roadmap to reopen its economy. 

“This health officer order does not have an end date; it will go on and be modified over time as appropriate,” said Ferrer. She added that the open-ended order “leaves it open for us to continue to make the modifications as we’ve done with the previous health officer order.” 

The modifications announced Wednesday pertained to the reopening of county beaches, recreational spaces and additional businesses, which Ferrer said was part of stage two.

“We are still in stage two, and it is in some ways a phase two, and there will be a phase three, I believe, of stage-two activities. You know, last week, we opened in a few places; today, we’re reopening in some more places,” she said. 

All retailers, except for those within shopping malls, can now reopen for curbside pickup and delivery only. Suppliers of these businesses can also reopen. The new directive comes after the county announced Friday that other small businesses, such as florists and bookstores, could open once again. Businesses must implement and post their compliance with the county’s directives before opening. 

Outdoor spaces for recreational use, such as tennis courts, shooting, archery, community gardens and bike parks, can also reopen. Beaches opened Wednesday for swimming, running, walking or surfing. Group sports, sunbathing and picnicking are still prohibited, and boardwalks, piers and parking lots remain closed. 

Ferrer said when outside your home, visitors must still adhere to safety protocols. 

“Please help by doing your part to comply with infection control protocols and physical distancing. In all of these spaces, you are required to wear a cloth face covering as it’s appropriate when you will be in contact, or you think you may be in contact with other people,” said Ferrer.  

As the county moves into a “slow journey,” the Public Health director reminded viewers that COVID-19 is “still relatively easy to transmit, and it can cause, as I’ve noted, serious illness and death.”

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