L.A. County officials announced Friday that although Safer at Home restrictions remain in place, beach bike paths will reopen just in time for the holiday weekend. Indoor mall curbside pick-ups and car parades are also now allowed.
L.A. County reiterated that beaches are open for active recreation only, including swimming, surfing, running, walking and biking. Sedentary activities such as tanning are not permitted, so chairs, umbrellas, canopies, coolers and grills are not allowed. All beachgoers must maintain social distancing and wear face coverings when not swimming, and parking will be extremely limited, as most public beach parking lots remain closed. All hiking trails in L.A. County are also open, with the exception of Runyon Canyon.
Barger and other supervisors announced earlier this week that their goal is to reopen L.A. County restaurants, retail stores and malls by July 4. However, officials emphasize that reopening will be determined by data and science.
That data is not looking as positive for Los Angeles County as had been hoped, leading the White House to ask for the CDC to investigate why COVID-19 infection rates remain high. Los Angeles Country reached 2,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Thursday. Dr. Deborah Birx said Friday that the CDC should work with L.A. and Orange Counties as well as Chicago and Washington, D.C., “to really understand where are these new cases coming from, and what do we need to do to prevent them in the future.”
Curbside pick-ups from indoor shopping malls are now allowed as well, along with car parades in order to celebrate graduations, birthdays and other achievements. For large-scale car parades, an organizational host must be designated to ensure all participants are following the correct guidelines. Residents must maintain social distancing and wear face coverings while during both of these activities.
During the COVID-19 update briefing Friday, L.A. County supervisor Kathryn Barger and L.A. County director of public health Barbara Ferrer urged residents not to throw social gatherings of any kind during the holiday weekend. Barger stated that she has confidence that people will follow the correct guidelines this weekend.
“Based on the week that we opened up the trails and the golf courses, I was really proud of the L.A. County residents who did recognize wearing a mask and the social distancing that was in place,” Barger said. “I know we are lifting restrictions in certain areas. Please be responsible because this is the only way we are going to move toward the next phase of reopening.”