South Coast Plaza reopens in O.C. as state allows shopping at indoor malls

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South Coast Plaza is once more reopening its doors to shoppers Monday, seven weeks after shutting down again because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Costa Mesa shopping center had to halt indoor access to its stores and restaurants on July 13 after reopening in June. It had been closed for three months following the announcement of the statewide stay-at-home order in March.

More than 100 stores at South Coast Plaza will open the week of Aug. 31, with more scheduled to resume indoor services in the coming weeks, according to mall representatives.

The shopping center’s reopening comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that malls, hair salons and barbershops across California can resume indoor operations with safety measures in place beginning Monday.

But while Orange County, along with Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, welcomed the news on Friday, Los Angeles County officials said the current restrictions remain for those businesses in the region.

“…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 L.A. County Department of Public Health said in an emailed statement Friday.

As of Sunday, L.A. County has reported 5,769 coronavirus deaths and 240,748 cases. Those account for about 45% of deaths and 34% of cases statewide.

The county did report a steady decline of daily hospitalizations, from an average of more than 2,000 patients hospitalized daily in mid-July to an average of 1,100 patients hospitalized daily over the past week.

Orange County so far has reported a total of 979 deaths and 48,444 cases, with 329 patients hospitalized as of Sunday. Ventura County has confirmed a total of 115 deaths and 10,346 cases, and 71 patients hospitalized as of Friday.

Meanwhile, San Bernardino County has reported 716 deaths and 47,373 cases, with 318 patients as of Aug. 26. Riverside County has confirmed a total of 1,007 deaths and 51,860 cases, and 223 patients hospitalized as of Friday.

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