Safer at Home

What to Know About the Changes to LA's Safer at Home Order

The updated order allows more businesses to reopen and clears the use of some recreational centers, like tennis courts.

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What to Know

  • Loosened restrictions were included in a new "Safer At Home" public health order issued Wednesday, replacing one that was set to expire Friday.
  • The order has no set end date, but updates are likely as conditions change.
  • Under the order, more businesses and recreational areas are allowed to reopen.

An updated public health order allowing some recreational centers and all retail businesses to reopen, but with limitations, was issued Wednesday in Los Angeles County.

The loosened restrictions were included in a new "Safer At Home" public health order that replaces one that was set to expire Friday. The order has been in effect since mid-March, along with a statewide stay-at-home order.

The revised order -- which continues to urge people to stay home as much as possible, engage in social distancing and wear face coverings when interacting in public -- has no expiration date. Elements of the plan are likely to stay in place for months to come as Los Angeles grapples with the spread of the coronavirus.

The county's "Safer At Home" order has never barred people from leaving their homes, but it continues to mandate closures of dine-in restaurants, museums and gyms, while also banning large gatherings.

Here's what to know about the updated order.

Retail Businesses

  • Allowed to reopen, but only for curbside merchandise pickup, except those located inside indoor shopping malls.
  • Shops that are located in malls but have exterior entrances can open for outdoor pickups.
  • Also authorized to reopen were manufacturers that supply goods to lower-risk businesses.

Recreational Facilities

  • Tennis and pickleball courts
  • Shooting and archery ranges
  • Equestrian centers
  • Model airplane centers
  • Community gardens
  • Bike Parks

The county also authorized individual cities to temporarily close some streets to automobile traffic to provide additional space for residents to engage in outdoor recreation. The specific streets have yet to be announced.

The county has also launched a website where you can search for open areas to spend some time outdoors. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, 2020. 

"As a reminder, before a retail business or manufacturer or a warehouse opens, they are required to prepare, implement and post their compliance with our directives to demonstrate that they're adhering to distancing and infection control practices that protect both employees and customers," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, said Wednesday.

Those directives mandate face coverings for employees and customers, regular cleaning of "high-touch" surfaces and ready access to hand-washing or sanitation stations.

Ferrer has said elements of the Safer at Home order -- like face coverings and social distancing -- are expected to remain in effect for month. Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday that while personal protective measures will remain in effect, other restrictions in the order will be loosened in the coming weeks.

"We continue to call our health officer order `Safer At Home' to emphasize that all of us are still more protected when we remain home as much as possible," she said.

The county on Friday allowed selected "low-risk" retail businesses -- toy stores, sporting goods stores, clothing stores, music shops and florists -- to reopen with curbside pickup only. Car dealers were also permitted to reopen, as long as they adhere to sanitation and social distancing mandates. County hiking trails and golf courses reopened Saturday, and county beaches opened for active use only on Wednesday.

Ferrer stressed that while more businesses are being allowed to open, full recovery "will be a slow journey."

Driving home the continued danger of the virus, Ferrer Wednesday announced 47 additional deaths due to the coronavirus, although four of those deaths were announced Tuesday afternoon by officials in Long Beach and Pasadena, both of which have their own health agencies. On Wednesday afternoon, Long Beach announced one additional coronavirus death, while Pasadena announced three more.

The new fatalities lifted the county wide death toll to 1,663. Ferrer noted that one month ago, the death toll was at 363, meaning roughly 1,300 people have died from COVID-19 in the county since mid-April.

Ferrer also announced 1,264 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 34,428. Long Beach and Pasadena subsequently announced a total of 124 new cases, lifting the countywide total to 34,552.

Roughly half of the coronavirus deaths in the county have been among residents of institutional settings, the vast majority of them in skilled nursing facilities. 

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