It might feel like a new day – a bright one indeed, with the announcement Los Angeles County on Friday has received permission from the state that restaurants, barbershops and salons can reopen.
The City of South Pasadena is following the guidelines of the county as it slowly opens doors to businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The effort, although cautiously, comes with its share of restrictions as Los Angeles County has been hit hard with the virus with more than 2,290 deaths. The county has about 51,562 COVID-19 cases, representing nearly half of those in the state. There have been 18 casualties to the virus in South Pasadena.
The county earlier this week reopened churches, shopping malls and many retail businesses, but restaurants, barbershops and salons — all considered higher risk — were not on the list. County officials say they will allow the opening of the approved businesses with strict social distancing rules in place.
Most of the state’s 58 counties are already opened, including personal care businesses and restaurants, with concerns about safety. How to protect customers through physical distancing and a when the opening at eateries will take place were not specified.
On Wednesday, believing it had met certain coronavirus benchmarks, the County Board of Supervisors announced it would apply for a state variance after listening to public testimony before going into closed session with county counsel to address the issue further. A motion was co-authored by Los Angeles County Supervisors’ Chair Kathryn Barger and Board Member Janice Hahn.
“Los Angeles County has dedicated critical resources to meet the benchmark criteria to support our efforts to reopen, including ensuring adequate hospital capacity, increasing access and availability of testing and contact tracing, and implementing protections for vulnerable populations,” Barger said at the time.
On Friday, the application was approved by the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom saying the criteria created by the California Department of Health has been accomplished by the county to open the specific businesses.