As California begins to reopen economy, fears of a second coronavirus surge rise

California
Some restaurants close as other remain open for takeout, observing new social distancing rules, with blue tape marked on the floor, at what would normally be a crowded lunctime scene at the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, California on May 4, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Some restaurants close as other remain open for takeout, observing new social distancing rules, with blue tape marked on the floor, at what would normally be a crowded lunctime scene at the Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, California on May 4, 2020. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Reopening California’s devastated economy is increasingly looking to be a slow, deliberative process in many parts of the state as Gov. Gavin Newsom issued strict protocols that communities must satisfy to speed reopening and health experts warned of the risks of a surge if social distancing is abandoned too early.

California will take baby steps in the process on Friday, as a scattering of retail businesses are allowed to reopen for curbside pickup.

But that will still leave huge sectors of the economy shut down, and leaders in communities across California will have to declare they’ve reduced the coronavirus danger to open up more businesses, such as restaurant dining rooms and shopping malls. That is going to be a challenge in hard-hit areas such as Los Angeles County, which has seen more than 1,400 deaths — more than half of the state’s total — and is still recording hundreds of new cases a day.

A Times data analysis found that Los Angeles and many other urban counties have not yet hit Newsom’s criteria to further open businesses, and it’s unclear when they will. It’s likely some rural counties that have been hit much less hard by coronavirus than the Bay Area and Southern California will be able to reopen at a faster rate.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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