Barger urges state to reopen schools; state announces new sectors can reopen June 12

FILE PHOTO Callah Yoscovitz, 5, points out a desk group to her mom, assistant principal of Old Orchard Elementary Lisa Seeley-Yoscovitz as they tour the new modular classrooms at Peachland Elementary in Newhall on Wednesday. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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California’s counties will have a chance to say when their bars, gyms and schools, which could be as soon as June 12, state public health officials said Friday. 

Additional sectors include film and television, day camps, zoos, casinos and professional sporting events without spectators. Detailed guidelines on how to have a safe reopening are expected to be released later, according to Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state Health and Human Services. 

Counties that meet the criteria to reopen will be able to resume operations for all sectors mentioned, besides schools and day camps as California’s guidelines for the two apply statewide. 

In a news release Friday, county officials said the Department of Public Health will review the newly issued state guidance and consult with the Board of Supervisors to determine how sectors can safely reopen.

On Thursday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, urged Gov. Gavin Newsom in a letter to “facilitate the reopening of schools, summer camps and other youth programming effective June 12.” 

“The state should be able to provide guidance for opening summer programs and schools using as a basis the existing guidelines the state provided for children care providers at the start of the pandemic. These can be modified and extended to safeguard children and youth in schools, camps and recreational programs for summer and fall,” read the letter, adding that “we have successfully flattened the curve in Los Angeles County.” 

The new wave of sectors allowed to reopen under the state’s guidelines under phase three join retailers such as bookstores, car dealers, florists, and most recently, in-store shopping and dining, which have all been given the green light to resume operations in recent weeks.

Nail salons will not be a part of the latest group allowed to reopen, said Ghaly. 

While many more businesses are reopening, Dr. Sonia Angell, state public health officer, said that “doesn’t mean your risk for COVID-19 is gone. As we continue to release guidance on how different sections can reopen with modifications, it is important to remember guidance doesn’t mean ‘go.’ Your local health officer will make the final decision about which sectors will open, guided by data specific to your community.”

Some safety measures businesses will have to practice include supplying proper sanitizing products, closing self-service areas, implementing a reservation system to limit the number of people inside a location at a time and setting up special hours designated for high-risk populations at fitness centers. 

For a complete list of state guidelines, visit cdph.ca.gov

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