L.A. County Reveals Stages for Reopening & the Businesses in Each Stage

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger during today’s briefing.

[UPDATED 5/7/2020] Today, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer revealed a roadmap for reopening our businesses and recreation areas and ultimately, returning to normal. This process consists of five stages. We’re currently in Stage 1 but will move to Stage 2 this Friday. Stage 2 allows for the reopening of low-risk businesses and recreation areas, but with modifications. We’ll break down the rest of the stages below.

According to L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County will allow some retailers and recreation areas to reopen on Friday, in accordance with state guidelines. This includes trails, golf courses, florists, car dealers, and retail stores that sell books, clothes, sporting goods, toys, and music. It doesn’t include shopping malls.

Barger noted that this current list is “less about what products are sold and more about the ability to maintain social distancing.”


So, what does that mean? In-store shopping is still off-limits, meaning you’ll have to make your purchases through curbside pickup only. You’ll still have to practice physical distancing at the car dealership and on the golf course. You’ll have to wear a facial covering, even on the trails. Barger also said that county staff will make sure there’s no crowding outdoors.

On Thursday, May 7, Los Angeles County took to twitter to clarify their schedule for reopening golf courses, trails and parks. According to the schedule embedded below, county trails open beginning on May 9. The latest updates can be found here.

Details and guidelines will be finalized and posted on the county’s website here before the order goes into effect on Friday. 

As for the rest of the stages, we don’t have dates for them yet, but we do know what they are and which businesses, or sectors, are in each.

The process for reopening has four steps:
1. Review and evaluate efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19
2. Talk to sector leaders about how to reopen
3. Develop guidelines for reopening
4. Reopen sectors by stages

The stages are as follows:

Stage 1: The Safer at Home order, or, where we are right now.

Stage 2: In addition to the businesses that can reopen this week, Stage 2 also includes other low-risk businesses, such as essential healthcare services, outdoor areas, libraries, museums, cultural centers, and galleries.

Stage 3: Higher-risk businesses may reopen. This includes body art services, massage services, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, bowling alleys, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

Stage 4: The highest risk businesses may reopen. This includes entertainment venues, sporting arenas, and convention centers.

Stage 5: A complete return to normalcy. This means that not only is everything open again, but we can stop finally stop worrying about physical distancing and wearing masks all the time.

But until we get to Stage 5, each sector will have to reopen with several modifications. They’ll have to ensure worker safety, limit occupancy so we can practice physical distancing, require facial coverings and PPE, post the rules for customers, clean and sanitize frequently, and ensure access for the most vulnerable among us. Ferrer stressed that it’s on us to continue to follow guidelines, wash our hands, isolate ourselves when we’re sick, and quarantine when we need to.

As we’ve been warned several times, a surge in infection or insufficient hospital capacity means toggling back to stricter orders.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week that some California retailers would be able to reopen for curbside pickup on Friday during his noon briefing. Newsom noted that individual counties would be able to decide if they wanted to go slower than the state allowed, based on their unique circumstances. He also said that some counties could move faster if they could meet certain criteria. That same day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during his early evening briefing that he didn’t expect L.A. businesses to reopen by Friday. We expect he’ll discuss the county’s roadmap during his briefing today. If you’d like to tune in, he’s on at 5:15 p.m. every day.


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