L.A. County to reopen Friday, county announces eased restrictions

Los Angeles County Seal.
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Los Angeles County officials have announced they will ease public health restrictions and reopen the county on Friday.

During the county’s daily press conference on Wednesday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger said the county would be lifting some of the restrictions that had been put in place starting March 19 with the stay-at-home order.

“Gov. (Gavin) Newsom announced that it was appropriate for some businesses and outdoor spaces to open on Friday,” said Barger. “These include trails, golf courses, florists, car dealers and stores that sell toys, books, clothing, sporting goods and music.”

Barger said county staff will be on the trails to ensure that social distancing is followed and this latest health order will only allow curbside pickup for retail; in-store shopping will still be on hold.

L.A. County will have a different set of guidelines than other counties in terms of how the restrictions will be lifted, Barger said. She added, however, that the county cannot be more lenient on which businesses can open, per the governor’s orders.

“The Department of Public Health will allow other businesses to open as soon as they can guarantee guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of staff and their customers.”

On Wednesday, officials announced there had been an increase of 851 confirmed cases and 55 new deaths related to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

The decision to reopen follows a letter sent by Barger to individual cities in L.A. County that told local officials about the plan to ease restrictions. The letter said the first round of businesses and locations can reopen with safety precautions on Friday.

“I think the steps by the Board of Supervisors to slowly and responsibly begin the reopening process is appropriate and will be well-received by the residents of our community,” Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth said.

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