L.A. County Restaurants and Retail Won’t Reopen Until July 4 at Earliest

Ellise Shafer

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L.A. County officials said Tuesday that they have set a goal of reopening restaurants, retail stores and malls by July 4.

It’s not clear exactly which businesses would be included in the July 4 target, and whether movie theaters and other businesses counted as “Stage 3” by the state of California would qualify for that goal.

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L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis and L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer confirmed Independence Day as the target date for reopening Tuesday in a COVID-19 update livestream, but said they will continue to prioritize data before making an official decision.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom eased statewide reopening restrictions, allowing 53 out of 58 counties in California to move at their desired pace to reopen on a local level. However, L.A. County was not listed as one of the counties that had met the requirements to do so, meaning it must adhere to the original restrictions.

Ferrer also revealed in the livestream that the positivity rate in L.A. County has declined to 9% this week. In order to meet Gov. Newsom’s guidelines for reopening, the positivity rate must be at 8% for at least one week.

“We’re not quite there yet,” Ferrer said. “These are complicated issues on the reopening. I think we’re all working together really well across that county that we do the reopening in a way that’s both sensible and allows for everyone to be as safe as possible.”

Although only L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger officially announced the July 4 date and there has yet to be a comment from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Ferrer said that she believes it helpful to have a timeframe in mind in terms of reopening L.A.

“It’s much more reassuring to hear that we’re going to aim for that July 4 date,” Ferrer said. “We have to do a lot of things right so that we can actually get to that date of July 4 and have lots of different sectors reopened… That’s certainly a goal we can reach, but we all need to do our part and certainly need to pay attention to what the data is telling us.”

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