When Los Angeles Can Reopen More Businesses, According to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Tier System

Published on September 1, 2020

Presently, Los Angeles has over 240,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 5,800 deaths. The major city is seeing a drop in cases with the number of hospitalizations slowly going down. According to Los Angeles’ Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, the city is making progress. However, there’s still a long way to go until businesses can reopen. 

Guidelines for Reopening

The entire state of California has over 713,000 cases and 13,000 deaths. On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his new tiered plans for how and when businesses can reopen. It’s all based on numbers and facts, and it is the fourth reopening plan in the last six months.

The new guidelines present a four-tier, color-coded system based on rates of infection in 58 of the state’s countries. If the number of cases go down in a major city they must decline for 21 days until more businesses can reopen. Here are the four-tiers: 

Right now, Los Angeles and other major counties, such as in San Francisco, are in Tier 1. Los Angeles was most recently above 12% in positive tests, keeping the city firmly in Tier 1.

Reactions From Businesses 

With the new tier system, businesses all over the state will remain closed and hurting and most likely, closing. Gyms, nail salons, movie theaters, and restaurants will continue to suffer, most notably in Los Angeles and other major cities.

Business owners have already expressed their fear over the new tier system. There are bizarre inconsistencies in the new tier plan as well. SeaWorld in San Diego can reopen under “zoos and museums,” while a park such as Legoland remains closed. 

The Progress 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and health officials are starting to discuss reopening more businesses, though. While business owners and workers remain in fear or unemployed, Dr. Ferrer has said the state is still making progress: 

“It is evident we are making progress, and this is a testament to the collective efforts of so many. As we evaluate how to best continue our recovery journey without experiencing the spikes we saw in July, we need to consider the magnitude of increased exposures created with each sector re- opening.

Moving forward, especially in a county as large as ours, requires a thoughtful assessment of what measures are in place to protect residents and employees. Whether we are looking at how to best support school children, or hair salon operators, we have to move forward responsibly since there is no path to economic recovery without slowing the spread of COVID-19. Not respecting the seriousness of the pandemic only makes it harder to open up more of our county.”

How to Get to Tier 2

Ferrer added what it will take for Los Angeles to keep progressing and reopening businesses: 

“In order for our county to move through the state’s tier structure which will allow us to reopen more businesses, we must slow the COVID-19 transmission rates we are seeing,. Currently, we are in Tier 1 with widespread community transmission and an average of about 13 new cases a day per 100,000 residents. This tier carries the most restrictions for the re-opening of many sectors.

To demonstrate reduced spread of the virus and move to Tier 2, we need to reduce our transmission rate to 7 new cases a day per 100,000 residents….For everyone throwing or attending parties, hanging out in crowded spaces, or insisting that the public health rules don’t apply to you or your business, your actions make it much more likely that we remain in Tier 1 for many weeks to come; this makes it harder for our children to get back to school and for many adults to get back to work.”

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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