The next steps in L.A.’s reopening plans might be arriving sooner than we thought—like, very soon.
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday evening that it would be following the statewide order that allows for the immediate reopening of in-person shopping and houses of worship. In addition, the county will apply for a variance with the state tomorrow that—like all of its neighbors—would allow L.A. to reopen dine-in service at restaurants, as well as hair salons (per an announcement from Governor Gavin Newsom today). In addition, the county announced that it was allowing flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters to resume operations.
L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger first announced the news in a written statement, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was able to share some more details in a press conference shortly after—including the news that that Runyon Canyon has reopened.
Garcetti said that Runyon opened today with a one-way clockwise loop, with rangers and counters to make sure the trail doesn’t go over capacity. When trails and parks across the county reopened earlier this month, Runyon had remained closed. Word of its reopening comes only a few hours following the news that Eaton Canyon, easily one of the most popular hikes after Runyon, would be closed for the rest of the month due to overwhelming crowds this past weekend.
“I know this feels unsettling to some who want to close down as long as we can until there’s a vaccine or something else,” Garcetti said about the collective reopening announcements. “And for others it may feel like, why aren’t we going even quicker? We have to balance these two things and do it safely. But we have to not be afraid of taking steps forward while also mandating that our personal behavior will prove the success of these steps or not.”
In the case of retail, those steps include physical distancing, face coverings, heightened sanitation practices and opening at half capacity (and though the county said shops would open immediately, Garcetti specified that it would be starting on Wednesday). For houses of worship, capacity must not exceed 25% or 100 people, whichever is smaller. Those two reopenings come by means of a California-wide initiative; dining and salons, if approved, would come as the result of L.A. meeting the state’s criteria that allows counties to move ahead more quickly. That county variance depends on a few key pillars: stable hospitalizations, cases per population, testing capacity, contact tracing, surge capacity and nursing facilities.
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