Long Beach, CA
Officials in Los Angeles County announced a possible “safe reopening” around July 4th as residents and businesses have become increasingly more restless.
Today, at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Kathryn Barger stated, “the County, in partnership with our Task Force members and key stakeholders, is prepared to move forward with recommendations that ensure the safety and well-being of employees and customers while safeguarding public health.”
Supervisor Hilda Solis added, “Our aspiration is yes, we’d like to open sooner than later but, we have to do it by measurement. We have to have scientific evidence and data and make sure everybody is adhering to the public health order. But I have to tell you, I have a great deal of concern that some people are not listening to that message.”
Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that most California counties could initiate the next phase of reopening by June 1st which include hair salons, retail shopping, restaurant dining, and sporting events (without spectators.)
What this means for Long Beach is slightly different according to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.
In an email to supporters Garcia stated, “Reopening decisions within a Stage are made with the recommendations of doctors and health officials. Our local officials talk daily with LA County, California, and CDC experts and scientists. Our positive working relationships with Governor Newsom, Mayor Garcetti, the LA County Board of Supervisors, and leaders in Orange County is a great thing and is helping us keep our city safe. I’m in constant communication with all of them because what happens in Los Angeles and Orange County will impact Long Beach, and vice versa.”
About the looming question whether if Long Beach restaurants could open inside dining, Garcia wrote, “Yes, the State has an expedited track to reopen restaurants more quickly – however, that program was set up by the Governor for rural counties with few to no deaths and cases. Long Beach does not qualify. LA does not qualify. Orange County does not qualify. So instead, we use the baseline State Health Order as guidance. The Order allows for retail curbside pick up and some recreation – both of which we are doing.”
In the meantime, Long Beach is considering an open streets initiative which may allow restaurants to add additional outdoor seating to help offset the the loss of indoor seating currently closed to patrons.