L.A. City Weekly COVID-19 Update

California COVID-19 Guidance: Week in Review

Reopening Timeline

County

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the County presented its “Roadmap to Recovery” and announced that the County would be moving forward with a phased reopening. Board of Supervisors Chairperson Kathryn Barger announced the first round of businesses and public areas that were permitted to open on Friday, May 8, including:

  • Trails, golf courses, florists, car dealership showrooms, and some retailers (for curbside pickup only).
    • Permitted retailers include sporting goods stores, clothing stores, toy stores, bookstores and music stores.
    • In-store shopping will not be permitted.
    • Note that malls are not currently open, even for curbside pickup, per the State’s Order.
  • Reopening will require safety measures, including face masks and social distancing, even at retail and public locations that are permitted to reopen.
  • Golf pro shops will remain closed, and concessions/restaurants will be takeout only.
  • Beaches are not currently included but are part of the planning.

The County Director of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, presented the indicators that the County will use to determine when and how it can move forward with reopening. These include:

  1. Ensuring healthcare system capacity
  2. Protecting vulnerable populations
  3. Ensuring public health capacity to test, trace and isolate
  4. Developing protocols to keep workers and residents safe

Dr. Ferrer noted that the reopening process would include continuous reevaluation to ensure that each step was designed to keep Angelinos safe.

Finally, consistent with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s phased reopening of the State, Dr. Ferrer indicated that the next round of reopenings would focus on the following:

  • Offices
  • Manufacturing
  • Additional retail
  • Essential healthcare
  • Outdoor recreation and libraries
  • Museums, galleries and cultural centers

As part of efforts to transition to safe reopening, the County also announced plans to address the following:

  1. Protecting and supporting worker health and safety:

    a. Limit in-person work and ensure that vulnerable workers have alternative assignments.
    b. Supply and require use of face coverings and personal protective equipment.
    c. Develop policies that enable employees to stay at home when they are sick.
  2. Ensuring appropriate physical distancing:

    a. Limit occupancy in accordance with Safe Reopening protocols.
    b. Ensure six-foot distance between individuals as much as possible.
    c. Manage employees’ schedules to enable physical distancing.
  3. Ensuring proper infection control:

    a. Follow strict cleaning and sanitation standards.
    b. Frequently clean high-touch surfaces.
  4. Communicating with the public:

    a. Post clear signage to communicate protocols to visitors.
  5. Ensuring equitable access to services for vulnerable populations:

    a. Prioritize access to critical services.
    b. Move transactions and services online as feasible.

City

The City also announced reopening guidelines, which are consistent with similar County efforts. However, while City trails and trailheads will reopen with limits and safety requirements consistent with County policy, specific high-traffic locations—such as Griffith Observatory, Runyon Canyon and City beaches—will remain closed. Masks or facial coverings will be required at all reopened locations.

New Ordinances

County

At its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a Responsible Banking ordinance. This proposed legislation, which would apply to all financial institutions doing or seeking to do business with the County, is designed to accomplish the following:

  1. Require financial institutions providing or seeking County banking business to disclose, within 30 days, the institution’s contributions to meeting the County’s goal of offering mortgage relief conditioned on rent suspension for rental properties in the County during the COVID-19 emergency and the subsequent recovery period
  2. Require financial institutions providing or seeking County banking business to disclose, every 30 days during the COVID-19 emergency, available foreclosure data for mortgage-holding rental properties in the County
  3. Require an evaluation and publicly accessible scorecard of the performance of financial institutions providing County banking services, specifically related to meeting the County’s goals of both mortgage relief and rent relief to help landlords maintain rental properties and to help renters stay in their homes during the COVID-19 emergency and the subsequent recovery period

The motion was introduced by Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl.

City

On Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Mayor announced that he had signed two ordinances related to tenant protections during the COVID-19 crisis. The first ordinance extends the rent freeze for residential units under the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance for one year after the COVID-19 crisis. The second provides several tenant protection measures, including:

  • Prohibiting eviction of residential tenants for one year after the COVID-19 crisis
  • Prohibiting eviction of commercial tenants for three months after the COVID-19 crisis
  • Protecting tenants from landlord predatory practices such as fraud, intimidation and coercion, particularly when related to eviction or nonpayment of rent
  • Requiring landlords to provide notice of the protections provided by the Ordinance, in the tenant’s primary language, whenever they communicate with a tenant regarding potential eviction or similar action
  • Providing residential tenants with a private right of action to enforce the Ordinance
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