LA County select reopening target date for restaurants and retailers

Local leaders cautioned that openings will depend on infection rates and other data points

First District Supervisor Hilda Solis (Credit: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images)
First District Supervisor Hilda Solis (Credit: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images)

Los Angeles County leaders are aiming for a “full or staged reopening of retail, restaurants and malls” by the Fourth of July.

Some county supervisors cautioned that the prospective opening date will depend on infection rates and other data points, while business leaders argued it should be sooner. The goal came out of a meeting of county officials and a business task force on Tuesday, according to the L.A. Daily News.

Supervisor Hilda Solis said the county would “like to open up sooner than later,” but said she had “a great deal of concern” that some people aren’t adhering to stay-at-home orders and other coronavirus mitigation measures.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Those measures include wearing masks in public, allowing only curbside pickup at restaurants, and standing six feet apart. Last weekend, county public health inspectors found only about 600 of 1,000 businesses were complying with those orders.

The county is bound by the state government’s four-stage reopening plan that allows for small businesses to open first and large events to resume last. Cities and counties have the power to delay those openings too.

Government officials across the county are under pressure to balance public safety and business interests. Businesses in areas under lockdown have been devastated by the pandemic and many are expected to permanently close.
Nationally, total retail sales were down 16.4 percent month-over-month in April, the worst drop ever recorded followed by the 8.3 percent drop in March.

The state, which has had a stay-at-home order for over two months, has seen the percentage of positive tests decrease to 4.1 percent as of May 19. It’s testing more than 129,000 people per day.
[LADN]Dennis Lynch