After Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the regional stay-at-home order, Los Angeles County officials on Monday announced many venues can reopen and outdoor dining can resume Friday. The county is aligning with the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, allowing activities permitted in the purple tier of the state’s color-coded, four-tier reopening plan. That means that effective immediately, outdoor activities at family entertainment centers, card rooms and other recreational sites can resume, and personal care services can reopen indoors at 25% capacity with everyone wearing masks, L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in a news conference.
Restaurants will have to wait to resume outdoor dining, with occupancy limits, until the end of the week, when the county will issue a new health officer order that will also rescind hours of operation restrictions for non-essential businesses that were in place between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., according to Ferrer.
L.A. County only recently started seeing improvements, with the coronavirus test positivity rate and the average number of new cases dropping after an unprecedented surge in infections that rapidly accelerated throughout the holiday season and strained hospitals. But the county is still seeing a high COVID-19 death rate. About 5,000 of L.A. County’s more than 15,000 coronavirus deaths have come in just the past few weeks. The health director urged residents to follow infection control measures to avoid another surge that will bring back closures. Ferrer said it’s a “very promising sign” that the positivity testing rate is down, but added that the numbers are still too high.
These venues can reopen immediately in L.A. County:
Outdoor-only private gatherings limited to three households and a total of 15 people
Fitness facilities can open outdoors
Indoor malls, shopping centers and other retailers can open at 25% indoor capacity (but food courts must stay closed)
Family entertainment centers can reopen for outdoor operations at 50% capacity
Museums, zoos and aquariums can open for outdoor operations
Cardrooms can open at 50% capacity outdoors only
Mini-golf, go-karting venues and batting cages can open outdoors at 50% capacity
Outdoor recreational activity spaces
Hotels and motels
Faith-based services are recommended to be held outdoors
The vast majority of the state’s 58 counties are in the most-restrictive purple tier.
Though local jurisdictions can implement rules stricter than those permitted in the tier, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties have all also announced lifting the ban on outdoor dining and indoor personal care services.
Nouran Salahieh, Wendy Burch