LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Non-essential indoor operations at hair salons, shopping malls, and other businesses in Los Angeles County will not reopen next week, despite the state’s new guidelines that allow them to do so.
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a four-tier color-coded system on Friday to label the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the state’s various counties under plans for reopening businesses that were shuttered in July amid soaring coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Under the system, county non-essential indoor business operations are closed if there are more than 7 daily new cases per 100,000. County risk drops to “substantial” when there are between 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000, according to the metric.
Currently, L.A. County remains under a purple classification, which indicates widespread risk of infection.
While most indoor operations must remain closed under the purple tier, the new system does authorize a county at any tier to allow the reopening of indoor barbershops and hair salons, as well as the reopening of indoor shopping malls at 25% capacity beginning on Monday.
However, L.A. county officials said Friday that they have not had the chance to fully review the state’s new guidelines, and the local health order will not change to allow these businesses to open next week.
Although the State today revised slightly the list of permitted activities in Tier 1 to allow for the re-opening of both hair salons for indoor services and indoor shopping centers for permitted retailers, the Health Officer Order has not been changed to permit these re-openings.
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) August 28, 2020
The state did say that, while the new guidelines lay out a framework for each county to follow for reopening, a county can choose to be more restrictive in its local guidelines.
As such, the L.A. County Department of Public Health said “all current restrictions remain in place” until further notice.
The four-tier system replaces the state’s COVID-19 watch list, which was used to determine each counties’ success in controlling the spread of the virus and indicate when a county could move into a new phase of reopening. Los Angeles County remained on the list as of Friday, when the new system was unveiled.
While L.A. County is choosing to remain more restrictive than the state requires, other Southern California counties also in the purple tier — including Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino — said they will move forward with the state’s recommendations and allow for additional businesses to resume indoor operations.