Officials have set July 4 as a target date for safely reopening L.A. retailers and restaurants to customers.
During a meeting of the county’s newly-formed Economic Resiliency Task Force on Tuesday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced the “goal for the safe reopening of Los Angeles County as early as July 4.” This is for a complete or phased reopening.
“The economic and sociological impacts created by the COVID-19 shutdown have hurt our vulnerable populations the most,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Today, the Economic Resiliency Task Force met for our second meeting and I set a goal to reopen L.A. County by July 4. Read more about our collaboration with sector leaders to revitalize businesses and get employees back to work: https://t.co/5p1wolwcIO pic.twitter.com/PIViqyQrku
— Supervisor Kathryn Barger (@kathrynbarger) May 19, 2020
According to Bill Allen, president of Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), there have been more than 1 million unemployment claims filed in L.A. County to date. Additionally, more than 75% of the projected job losses have average annual earnings of less than $50,000, and restaurants and retail industries have suffered the most.
County health director Barbara Ferrer and County Supervisor Hilda Solis said Tuesday that the July 4 date is merely a goal. While both noted the urgency of reopening the county’s economy, they reiterated that this would be based on the numbers and changes would reflect to the state of the situation.
“We’re going to pay attention to the data and we’re going to pay attention to the science. I think it is correct to note it’s going to take all of us together to be able to do this quicker rather than slower,” officials said.
This came shortly after Newsom announced the lifting of some regulations, allowing counties to reopen at the own pace as long as requirements were met. But as numbers remain high for L.A. County, the goal date still seems quite unlikely.
Meanwhile, Tuesday saw 76 more deaths linked to COVID-19, raising the county’s total to 1,913 deaths as reported by Ferrer.
Featured image: Rahul Bhogal