California’s larger counties will not be permitted to reopen their economies further unless they reduce coronavirus infections in the hardest hit places where the poor, Black people, Latinos and Pacific Islanders live.
Under a new state requirement for reopening during the pandemic, counties with more than 106,000 residents must bring infections down in these places and invest heavily there in testing, contact tracing, outreach and providing means for infected people to isolate. Los Angeles is one county sure to be affected, along with others in Southern California.
The measure is designed to ensure that test positivity rates in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods do not lag significantly behind a county’s overall rate, a disparity that has been widespread during the pandemic.
The new requirements, which take effect Oct. 6, may make it difficult for some counties to reopen as quickly and broadly as local leaders would like.
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