L.A. County Director of Public Health Highlights the Concern in Testing Capacity.
Los Angeles County Officials provided more information regarding the gradual progression in post pandemic stability. Tuesday, May 12, The L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced the Safer at Home Order is looking to be extended through the end of July. Los Angeles City leaders discussed the current status of the outbreak, without the proper testing capacity L.A. would be in danger of uncontrollable widespread of coronavirus. It will decimate the present work towards flattening the curve. However, with certain businesses and communal spaces still looking to open, Los Angeles continues to inch its way into a new space of recovery.
The main principles upheld by all L.A. public officials are the numbers extracted by the data and testing of COVID-19; testing has been the predominant factor in moving forward into recovery. According to reports by the L.A. Times, in the Los Angeles Board of Supervisor meeting held on Tuesday, May 12, Ferrer stressed the concern in the lack of widely available COVID-19 testing accessibility or accommodating rapid at-home testing kits. It would be “unlikely” in this stage to lift the Safer at Home Order. Ferrer shared the social distancing directives are looking to be extended through July.
The Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed Ferrer’s concern by stating,” While the city’s Safer at Home order will remain in place beyond May 15, we will also continue to adjust the order gradually — to safely allow more activities, more businesses to operate, and more Angelenos to get back to work,” Mayor Garcetti continued, “We’re not moving past COVID-19, we’re learning to live with it — and we will keep taking measured steps toward a new, safer reality in the days and weeks ahead.”
This report came out shortly after California State Governor Gavin Newsom announced the golden state is approved to reopen malls for curbside pickup service. Newsom released new guidelines for restaurants and other brick-and-mortars such as outdoor museums, malls, strip malls, and offices where remote work is not possible are now approved to be open. However, Governor Newsom disclosed local governments have the option to be more restrictive.
Although the L.A. Board of supervisors are working towards the extension of the safer at home directives, the Los Angeles coast prepares to open beaches in the following weeks. A few noted safety guidelines will be a requirement for masks, when not in the water. Lounging on the sand will be prohibited, the beach will be available for surfing, swimming, and exercise along the bike and walking trails.
The County reported 33,180 total positive cases and 1,613 COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. region. According to the L.A. County website, the Safer at Home Order was updated on May 8, adding within the directive the approval of “Lower-risk Non-Essential Retail Businesses that can reopen, can only provide goods to customers via curbside.” Released by the city Mayor’s Office, Garcetti reiterated the Emergency Safer at Home Order currently “requires city of Los Angeles residents to remain in their homes except for the most essential activities.”
The order is proposed to stay effective throughout July, but recent patterns in extended directives project it will stay in place until public officials see a drastic change in testing capacity, death rates, and positive cases. Along with the extension of the social distancing directives, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors deliberate the resources that will be extended as well, such as the renting freeze and the eviction moratorium. There must be a balance within the directives in social distancing and the resources available, to counteract the disruption in financial stability that every working class Angeleno is facing. There is anticipation of what will be offered to combat the exhausting struggle current L.A. residents face within the following weeks.