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L.A. County Allows In-Store Shopping, Religious Services and Drive-In Movies

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

County will seek variance from Governor Newsom to allow other businesses to reopen sooner

Los Angeles County is aligning its Health Officer orders with the state’s California Pandemic Resilience Roadmap. Among the activities now permitted under the change are faith-based services, in-store shopping at low-risk retail stores, drive-in movies and other recreational pursuits.

Examples of activities now permitted under the changes enacted Tuesday:

  • Faith-based organizations may resume services, with the number of congregants limited to less than 25% of the building’s capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.
  • All retail, including those located in indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers may now open for business at 50% capacity.
  • Flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may resume operations.
  • Pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multi-unit residence or part of a homeowners association may now open.

The County also released guidelines for public protests. In-person protests are permitted as long as attendance is limited to 25% of the area’s maximum occupancy, or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.

The order emphasizes that physical distancing requirements, cloth face coverings and other safety protocols must be observed as the recovery progresses.

The updated order allows people to take part in all permitted activities while continuing to practice physical distancing and wearing a cloth face covering when in contact with others. The change sets the stage for the County to request a variance from the state to permit swifter reopening of some sectors. If granted, the variance from the State public health order will allow Los Angeles County to advance further in Stage 2 and into Stage 3, which would allow for reopening in-person dining and personal care (hair salons and barbershops). Nail salons would still not be permitted to open.  As of Tuesday, 47 of the state’s 58 counties “self-attested” to meeting requirements and were allowed to reopen barbershops, hair salons and permit dining-in with modifications.

Gatherings of people not from the same household are still prohibited, except for faith-based services and in-person protests.

Additionally, people 65 years old or older and all people of any age with underlying health conditions should remain in their residences as much as possible. People in these categories should only leave their residences to seek medical care, exercise or obtain food or other necessities. Telework should continue as much as possible.

The County Public Health Department will continue to monitor COVID-19 data indicators closely and may, after consultation with the Board of Supervisors, adjust orders to reflect specific needs.

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