By Lily Birdt
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors that the stay-at-home order will “with all certainty” remain in place until August unless there is a “dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand.”
The mandate was previously extended to May 15, in which reopening would be based on Governor Gavin Newsom’s four-stage plan, which includes benchmarks that must be reached before the easing of restrictions can begin.
“[The extension] does not mean the order stays in place exactly as it is today, but of course that means we’re still going to protect our vulnerable and our seniors. We’re still going to need to wear facial coverings. We’re still going to need to physically distance,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Counties began the process of reopening on Friday 5/15 in the second stage of Governor Newsom’s roadmap. This allowed for retail stores to open for curbside pickup as well as manufacturing, office workplaces, and childcare. All of this is provided these companies can follow safety and social distancing requirements.
In the third stage, businesses that involve a higher risk for infection such as gyms, salons, movie theaters, and religious services will open. With certain benchmarks not having been met such as reduced numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, it is unlikely California will move into this stage for some time.
California has not yet seen a decline in cases or deaths, with the latest numbers being upwards of 32,000 confirmed cases and 1,500 deaths.
With time, restrictions will be gradually relaxed. Many residents have been happy to hear that many have already been loosened.
“This is just as dangerous a virus today as it was when it arrived. We should never become too comfortable. We’re learning to live with it, not moving beyond it,” Mayor Garcetti said.
As the COVID-19 situation has not changed, officials continue to recommend that it is safer to continue staying at home.