L.A. County to Start Reopening on May 8

May 6, 2020
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 15: An aerial view shows MacArthur Park and downtown in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, on April 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data from March shows that Los Angeles had its longest stretch of air quality rated as “good” since 1995 as Safer-at-Home orders were issued in response to the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Los Angeles County officials announced on May 6 that the county will begin to reopen on May 8.

Businesses that can start to reopen include certain retail stores, florists and car dealerships, although they will all have to provide curbside pickup. Hiking trails and golf courses also will reopen. Those on the trails will be required to wear a mask or some other type of face covering.


The county has a five-stage plan to reopen; May 8 will be the first part of Stage 2. Stage 2 later will feature the reopening of other low-risk businesses such as offices, libraries, museums and outdoor recreation. The county has not yet specified when the rest of Stage 2 will occur.

Under Stage 3, certain businesses deemed as higher risk — movie theaters, bars, nightclubs, gyms, nail and hair salons, etc. — would start to reopen, as will schools. Entertainment venues, large conventions and sporting events will reopen under Stage 4 and Stage 5 in a full return to normalcy.


County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer urged those at higher risk of developing serious symptoms from COVID-19 to stay at home.

“If you’re part of one of these groups, you need to take every precaution imaginable to protect yourself from COVID-19,” she said.

On May 4, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said that the state could start to reopen on May 8, laying out a similar roadmap to reopening that the county presented on May 6.

“Los Angeles County cannot be more lenient on which stores can reopen than the state dictates,” County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “This list is less about the products that are sold, are more about the ability to maintain social distancing.”

As of this writing, there were 851 new COVID-19 cases and 55 new deaths in the county on May 6, putting the county’s totals at 28,644 cases and 1,367 deaths. Around half of all COVID-19 deaths in the county have stemmed from institutional facilities such as nursing homes and jails.

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