New health order: Before reopening, businesses must comply with latest guidelines

Bartenders at La Cocina on Bouquet Canyon Road prepare the restaurant's Cadillac Margarita. February 18, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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Businesses such as nail salons and bars can now reopen under Los Angeles County’s latest modified health order, but Public Health officials reminded them they cannot open until all guidelines are implemented. 

“These protocols, as a reminder, they’re not recommendations, they’re requirements and we ask that you fully implement them before you open your doors to employees, customers and visitors and the opportunity to share your plan with all of your employees,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday during a live county briefing. 

The department issued the new health order Thursday and it took effect Friday, allowing more businesses to open, including wineries and breweries, casinos, tattoo parlors and others offering cosmetology work. 

Some of the guidelines businesses and customers must comply with include: 

Businesses

  • Shifts and break schedules are adjusted to maximize physical distancing. 
  • All workers are offered a cloth face covering and must be worn when in contact or likely in contact with others. 
  • Face shields are to be used.  
  • Physical barriers and visual cues are posted. 
  • Discontinue self-service stations, and discontinue offering books and board games, and entertainment options such as karaoke and dancing. 
  • Music volumes are adjusted to ensure wait staff are able to hear customer orders without having to lean in close. 
  • Reusable menus are cleaned and disinfected between customers. 

Customers and visitors

  • Customers cannot order, pick up and transport drinks to their tables. 
  • Cashless transactions are encouraged. 
  • Enter businesses only through doors that are propped open. 
  • Face masks must be worn whenever customers are not eating and drinking. Those who refuse to wear a mask may be refused service and asked to leave. 

Under Thursday’s order, businesses that must remain closed include lounges and nightclubs, public entertainment venues such as movie theaters, theme parks and concert venues, family entertainment centers like arcades and bowling alleys, indoor and outdoor playgrounds and saunas. All events and gatherings remain prohibited. 

Ferrer on the importance of face masks

Since May 13, Los Angeles County has required that face masks be worn when in contact with others who are not in one’s household and, as of Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the same for the entire state, after some counties had only recommended the use of masks. 

Ferrer said many people have questioned the importance of wearing masks and she said wearing them is more to protect others rather than oneself, “especially since you can be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms of illness.” 

“This is how you keep your respiratory droplets from reaching someone else, and even if you tested negative, that negative test result only tells you your status the day you were tested. You could easily become infected the very next day and unknowingly pass COVID-19 onto others,” she said.

Hopeful for continued reopenings 

Ferrer and County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Friday the county is hopeful there won’t be a setback in closing businesses again, but urged residents to continue doing their part in practicing safety measures. 

The latest stages in reopening are based on the county’s death and hospitalization data and its rate of positivity, she added.   

“All of the indicators really point to the fact that we are fairly stable and we in fact continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we reopen, we need to be particularly careful to do everything we can both individually and as businesses to make sure that our environments are as safe as possible,” said Ferrer.  

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