City officials announced Monday that Long Beach would be aligning with LA County and the rest of the state in lifting stay at home orders. Long Beach will be allowing outdoor dining and the reopening of personal care services but at limited capacity starting Tuesday, Jan 26.
Why it matters:
Many businesses have spent thousands of dollars to stay afloat during the pandemic, like building outdoor patios and pivoting their entire business model. On Dec 23, Newsom installed stricter stay at home orders that halted in-person dining, placed travel restrictions for people driving within the state, and limited gatherings with different households.
By the Numbers (Long Beach only):
46,477 total positive results (+994)
Seven-day positivity rate: 12.3%
91.7 seven-day case rate per 100K population
433 total COVID-19 hospitalizations in area hospitals
Approximately 34,784 recovered
634,162 total tests conducted
Information as of Jan 23 from the City of Long Beach
What can you do:
Starting Tuesday, the city will allow sectors like restaurants and personal care services to operate but under limitations, according to a city's statement.
Restaurants can operate in-person outdoor dining but have to prevent congestion, adhere to social distancing, and require guests and staff to wear masks.
Tables will have to be eight feet apart to maintain a constant six-foot separation between tables and strongly encouraging dining for households only to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Indoor personal care services include tanning salons, esthetician, skincare and cosmetology services; electrology; body art professionals, tattoo parlors, microblading, and permanent makeup; piercing shops; and massage therapy and setting capacity limits based on the ability to maintain six feet of distance between customers.
Hotels, motels, lodging, shared rental units, and other similar facilities for all types of travel, including tourism and individual travel.
Outdoor operations of museums, zoos, and aquariums
Limited gatherings of no more than three households, with gatherings allowed outdoors only
Places of worship may continue to operate outdoors. Gyms can continue outdoor operations, and indoor retail will continue, subject to capacity limitations.
Governor Newsom's decision to remove stay-at-home orders and returned the state to the previous color-coded four-tier system arrives as the Southern California region's intensive care unit capacity remains at zero percent as of Saturday, according to Newsweek.
Los Angeles County has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, with over 15,000 COVID-19 related deaths, with 5,000 people have died from COVID-19 in LA County since Dec 30.
Newsom says the state's current projections estimate that the Southern California region's ICU capacity will reach 33.3% by Feb 21.
One more thing: "After a winter surge, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are beginning to decline across the state. But compared to when the governor established the stay-at-home order framework last month, total confirmed cases have more than doubled, daily confirmed cases have increased, the seven- and 14-day positivity rates are higher and ICU capacity is lower in each region of the state except Northern California, according to the most recent state data available," the LA Times writes.
What you could do:
Gov. Newsom is reportedly lifting COVID-19 stay at home orders for all regions on Monday, which would allow restaurants, salons, and gyms to operate outdoor services even though the Southern California region has zero percent ICU capacity.
Why it matters:
The orders have been in effect since last month and were installed to slow the spread of the virus before the Christmas Day holiday. Since then, Los Angeles County has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, with over 15,000 COVID-19 related deaths, with 5,000 people have died from COVID-19 in LA County since Dec. 30.
According to a LA Times report, if the orders are removed, all counties will return to the colored tier system that main metrics are based on case numbers and positivity rates.
The state is also lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.
Nearly all counties would be downgraded to the "widespread" purple risk tier, allowing outdoor dining and low indoor occupancy for salons and gyms.
The stay at home orders has faced criticism and lawsuits from business owners who were forced to shut down outdoor dining.
Where things stand:
Newsom's decision comes with improving trends in the rate of infections, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit capacity, as well as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations, per AP.
What they're saying:
“California is slowly starting to emerge from the most dangerous surge of this pandemic yet, which is the light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been hoping for,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly in a statement to KRON.
Danna Tanner, the defiant restaurant owner of Restauration on Fourth Street, kept serving patrons on the patio weeks after the County entered its stay-at-home order, halting all on-site dining. Despite facing misdemeanor charges, she is looking into possibly more charges after an unauthorized flex connection from an adjacent unit's gas supply running to Restauration was found, the Office of the City Manager said.
The City's Energy Resources Department received complaints regarding the smell of gas. After gaining access, utility workers found an "unauthorized flex connection from an adjacent unit's gas supply running to Restauration," said the City Manager's Office. The utility workers removed the yellow gas connector to "avoid any potential hazardous situations," and LBPD spokesperson Allison Gallagher said a police report was taken "documenting the health order violation."
The City's Venue Task Force and the City Prosecutor's Office will consider additional legal charges.
Tanner denied installing the gas connector, and her lawyer said a neighbor installed the connector without her knowledge, per LBP.
Catch up quick:
The city cited Tanner nine times, revoked the restaurants' health permit. Earlier this month, the charges included four misdemeanor counts due to violating state and city's COVID-19 health orders, becoming the first in the city to do so. On Saturday, Jan. 23., the city shut off gas to the restaurant and even threaten to cut off the water.
After the city shut off the restaurant's gas access on Saturday, Tanner posted on social media photos of herself purchasing kitchen equipment to convert the restaurant to electric.
Tanner told the LA Times that none of her employees have tested positive for COVID, and her landlord is facing pressure to evict her.
On Saturday, Los Angeles County Health officials announced the grim milestone of more than 15,000 COVID-19-related deaths. The County had experienced more than 5,000 new COVID-19 deaths since Dec. 30.