Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday that all retail businesses may reopen for in-person shopping and houses of worship can resume operations starting Wednesday, both as long as they follow proper safety laws.
“It is very clear that we have earned this day,” Garcetti said. “Los Angeles, it is time to move forward to reopen, to look at more that we can do safely, safely, safely.”
The briefing comes just an hour after L.A. County, which remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in California, announced that it too would allow in-store shopping and church services, and would apply for a variance from the state to be able to reopen spaces faster. Garcetti said the county’s reopening would also go into effect Wednesday.
Every business that reopens should download and complete the city’s business toolkit, which includes the county’s physical distancing checklist and protocols, the mayor said.
“We have based this all on the data,” Garcetti said, adding that the city has met the required criteria to start reopening, including hospitalization rates, cases per population, testing capacity, contact tracing, sheltering 15% of the unhoused population, as well as hospital capacity and availability.
Throughout L.A. County, there are now 36 testing locations and a capacity to test 20,000 people a day. Earlier Tuesday, the city opened the largest coronavirus testing site in California at Dodger Stadium, with the capacity to test up to 6,000 people a day. So far, about 450,000 Angelenos have gotten tested.
Garcetti also announced Tuesday that Runyon Canyon has reopened as a one-way loop, joining all other city trails. Wearing masks is required, he said.
On Friday, the mayor said that bike paths and some beach parking lots would reopen, along with all retail businesses for pickup and delivery. The city also opened two recreation zones along the L.A. River in Elysian Valley and in the Sepulveda Basin in Encino Monday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that 47 of California’s 58 counties, excluding Los Angeles, are allowed to reopen barbershops and hair salons. Garcetti later said that both have to remain closed in L.A.
L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said the county will wait for the State’s clearance for reopening personal care services.
As of Tuesday, there were nearly 48,000 COVID-19 cases reported throughout the county and 2,143 deaths— which account for roughly half of cases and fatalities confirmed in the state.