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Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Danielle Cerullo

Gyms, barbershops and malls need to close indoor spaces again in Los Angeles

The closures affect L.A. as well as 29 other counties in California.

Michael Juliano
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Michael Juliano
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Effectively immediately, gyms, tattoo shops, hair salons, barbershops, personal care services, malls, offices for non-critical sectors and houses of worship in Los Angeles County must close indoor spaces. The state-announced order also specifies that indoor protests are no longer allowed (but outdoor ones are). Unless we see gyms and salons setting up shop in parking lots, this effectively means most of these businesses will likely need to completely shutter for now.

UPDATE (7/22): L.A. County has issued guidelines for hair salons and barbershops and personal care services that would like to transition to outdoor operations..

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the reopening rollback during a press conference on Monday. The closures only apply to the thirty counties that have ended up on the state’s coronavirus watch list, including L.A., Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino. But Newsom also announced a statewide order that closes indoors areas in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, museums and casinos (this had already been the case in L.A., but it now extends to all counties in California). In addition, any additional county opening variance from the state’s plans is now prohibited. The news also comes on the same day that the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it would not resume in-person classes this fall.

“As a consequence of an increase in positivity rate, increase in hospitalizations and ICUs, based upon the predicate, this foundation that we laid on utilizing a dimmer switch, today we are announcing additional statewide actions as it relates to our stay-at-home order here in the state of California,” said Newsom.

The news comes as the average number of daily cases and positivity rate continue to climb in the state. As a result, Newsom wanted to remind all Californians that the virus isn’t going away anytime soon and that they need to continue to wear face masks and practice physical distancing. “As always, I want to remind you, limit your mixing with people outside of your household,” he said. “If you do mix, it is so important that you take that mixing outside.”

In a local press conference soon after, L.A. County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that the county would be following the state’s order; she also issued a roadmap for how schools can eventually reopen their campuses (not that they should reopen, but how they can reopen once the time is ready). “Right now, everything is pointing towards an alarming trend,” she said. “Our data shows us that every day thousands of people in our communities are being infected with Covid-19. And our friends, families and neighbors are being hospitalized at a much higher rate. And while our death rate has remained relatively stable, we anticipate that unfortunately with the rise in hospitalizations we will soon see corresponding increases in the number of people who pass away. But despite this step back in our recovery journey, we do need to continue our planning for what I hope will be new progress that we make to get our economy and our community back on track.”

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