Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County’s public health director, made big news yesterday when she told the Board of Supervisors that the current stay-at-home order will extend until July.
It sounded grim, but in an interview with Nick Roman, who hosts our newsroom's "All Things Considered" afternoon show, Ferrer clarified her earlier statement. Between now and July, she said, the restrictions will be gradually lifted and changed. The process will allow officials to keep “limitations on what opens [and] how it opens most safely for both workers and customers,” she said, adding that her comments were “never meant to suggest that the order, as it exists today, is in effect for the next three months.” There are now 32,263 coronavirus cases and 1,570 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 69,346 cases and 2,779 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 4.2 million cases and over 291,000 deaths.
Los Angeles County beaches reopened Wednesday for limited access and active use that does not involve large groups. Permitted activities include surfing, swimming, running or walking, but group activities like volleyball, picnicking or anything that involves large groups congregating are still prohibited. California Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced Tuesday that some restaurants and shopping malls could reopen soon in counties that have met state standards for testing and reducing infection numbers.
Also on Tuesday, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that his state is now investigating about 100 cases in children of a mysterious inflammatory syndrome thought to be related to the virus, which affects blood vessels and organs and has symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock. Three children in the state have died and Cuomo advised all hospitals to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children presenting with symptoms. Elsewhere, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before a Senate panel alongside Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield, and both warned lawmakers that reopening the country too hastily could cause a new spike in infections and set the process of reopening the economy back even farther than it already is.
With files from LAist and the Associated Press