LA County Supervisor Asks Governor to Allow Retailers to Reopen Statewide With Restrictions

In a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Janice Hahn proposed a statewide reopening with health measures like face masks and capacity limits.


Saying current restrictions unfairly hurt small businesses, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn asked Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday to allow all retailers in the state open their doors to customers with limited capacity, mandatory face coverings and social distancing.

In a letter to Newsom, Hahn said current requirements that "non-essential'' retailers offer curbside pickup service only during the coronavirus pandemic are unfair to small businesses, while allowing big-box stores such as Target, Costco and Walmart to welcome customers inside.

"Many of these small businesses are not set up for online orders and curbside pickup has not been a good fit for them,'' Hahn wrote in her letter. "They want to reopen for in-store shopping in a way that protects the health of their employees and customers, and I have heard from nearly all of the 27 cities that I represent about ways to support them in doing this.''

Officials from the governor's office could not be reached for immediate comment.

New criteria for reopening announced Monday by Gov. Newsom applies to counties that want to reopen faster than the state. While retail may open for curbside pickup statewide, restrictions on dining in at restaurants and other services are still in place statewide under the updated plan.

Hahn asked Newsom to amend the state's current health restriction to allow all retailers to offer in-store shopping, while limiting the number of people inside, mandating face coverings for customers and employees and requiring physical distancing.

"If these measures are working to keep essential retail businesses open and safe like Target, Home Depot and Costco, they can certainly be applied to all retailers,'' she wrote.

The changes to the reopening criteria announced Monday eliminate requirements that a county have zero deaths and no more than one case per 10,000 residents over 14 days. Counties no longer will have to meet a threshold for deaths. They can have up to 25 cases per 100,000 residents or no higher than an 8% positive rate among people tested for the virus.

They also must have no higher than a 5% increase in hospitalizations over a 7-day period or fewer than 20 hospitalizations over 14 days. The latter will ensure small counties don't get penalized for just one or two extra hospitalizations.

Twenty-four counties in mostly rural Northern California had already been cleared to move faster under the old standards.

Newsom also said Monday that counties will soon be able to allow shopping in stores and hair salons to reopen. He also suggested professional sports could begin in June without spectators. He said the reopening of churches could begin within weeks.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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