Los Angeles County won’t allow hair salons and barbershops to resume indoor operations, despite an announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom permitting such services across the state again.
Indoor shopping centers, another sector Newsom said the state would allow to reopen, also must remain closed in L.A. County, officials said.
The county’s response came just hours after the governor unveiled the state’s much-awaited guidelines for reopening business sectors, as counties grappled with how to proceed after being removed from the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list.
But California scrapped the watchlist entirely. Instead, officials opted for a color-coded, four-tiered system that counties will move through more gradually than the state’s previous attempt, which resulted in some sectors being shut down again.
L.A. County is in the purple tier, indicating widespread COVID-19 activity, and is the most restrictive of the four. While most non-essential businesses must remain closed during that stage, some operations — like indoor hair services and malls — can resume Monday, provided the county allows it.
In this case, L.A. County officials decided to keep the current health officer order in place and not permit the reopenings, according to a statement from the county’s Department of Public Health.
“Since County orders may be more restrictive than State guidance, all current restrictions remain in place until the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Board of Supervisors have an opportunity to review the suggested guidance from the State and take actions that are appropriate for our County,” the statement read.
L.A. County, which has been the hardest hit in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, was placed there because its average daily case rate for the previous two weeks was 13.1 new cases per 100,000 residents, health officials said.
To get to the second tier — which will allow more businesses to open with modifications — the county will have to maintain a daily average of four to seven cases per 100,000 residents, and a testing positivity rate between 5 and 8%.
Nearly all Southern California counties, except for San Diego County, made the first tier. That includes Orange County, which had recently been removed from the state’s now-defunct monitoring list.