A change today in Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 pandemic guidelines means that churches and synagogues and some retail stores now are permitted to open and welcome people inside. Also, apartment buildings and condo associations are allowed to open their swimming pools to residents.
Today’s health officer order, to be issued today by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, is part of a phased progression toward the resumption of public life in Los Angeles County, including the recent reopening of beach bike paths and permission for car parades honoring graduates.
Examples of activities now permitted under the changes enacted today:
- Faith-based organizations may resume services, with the number of congregants limited to less than 25% of the building’s capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.
- All retail stores, including those located in indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers may now open for business at 50% capacity.
- Flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may resume operations.
- Pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multi-unit residence or part of a homeowners association may now open.
The Health Officer Order also provides guidelines for public protests. In-person protests are permitted as long as attendance is limited to 25% of the area’s maximum occupancy, or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
The order emphasizes that physical distancing requirements, cloth face coverings and other safety protocols must be observed.
“Aligning Los Angeles County’s health orders with that of the state’s is going to provide immediate relief to our communities,” said Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “This important step will enable our residents and businesses to have greater clarity and consistency as we continue to take positive steps towards reopening Los Angeles County,”
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, whose 3rd District encompasses West Hollywood, emphasized the importance of following safety guidelines with the re-openings.
“If you decide to go in person for a religious gathering or you must go to a store, be sure to wear your face covering,” Kuehl said. “That’s an important way you are showing up for your family, friends and community. Without people’s willingness to wear face covers, practice physical distancing, and diligently follow public health guidelines, we will not be able to meet our goal of reopening as fully as possible as quickly as possible. I am happy to see us expand activities that people can engage in, but there is no way to overstate the importance of public cooperation in making this reopening work.”
Los Angeles County residents are still encouraged to remain in their residences as much as practical and limit close contact with others outside their household both indoor and outdoor.
Gatherings of people not from the same household are still prohibited, except for faith-based services and in-person protests.
Also, people 65 years old or older and all people of any age with underlying health conditions should remain in their residences as much as possible, the Health Department says. People in these categories should only leave their residences to seek medical care, exercise or obtain food or other necessities. Telework should continue as much as possible.