LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County officials announced Tuesday that they are aiming for a "safe reopening" of the county as early as July 4, but some county leaders say that will only happen if the data supports doing so.
Earlier in the day, county Supervisor Kathryn Barger expressed the goal during the second Los Angeles County Economic Resiliency Task Force meeting, during which a collection of elected officials and business leaders assembled to recommend steps for creating jobs and returning the county to full employment.
Task Force sector leaders voiced their concerns over the significant financial crisis each industry is facing, emphasizing that prolonged closures will continue to deteriorate the ability of most small businesses to reopen and will cause permanent loss of jobs and wages for millions throughout the county.
In response, Barger told them, “I understand the urgency to reopen and know many of the experts the county has assembled for this Task Force have been working hard to develop safe and efficient plans to revitalize their sectors as early as next month.”
“I remain focused on working with industry leaders and health officials to safely make way for Los Angeles County to reopen by the Fourth of July."
The July 4 date indicates a goal of the full or staged reopening of retail, restaurants, and malls. Sector leaders said many businesses and employees will be impacted over the next few weeks.
While the county's Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, agreed with Barger on the July 4 goal during Tuesday afternoon's press briefing, she noted that “it’s always helpful for us to have a target date in mind.”
“We’re aiming for that date. We have to do a lot of things right so that we can actually get to that date of July 4," said Ferrer.
“That’s certainly a goal we can reach but we all need to do our part and we’re still going to have to pay a lot of attention to what the data is telling us," she added.
However, some other county leaders are not convinced just yet that a July 4 reopening date is all that reasonable.
“Our aspiration is yes, we would like to open up sooner than later, July? Yes, possibly," said Supervisor Hilda Solis. "That’s a goal. But we have to get there and we have to do it by measurement, we have to do it with scientific evidence and data and we have to do it by making sure everybody’s adhering to the public health order.”
“As one supervisor, I have a great deal of concern that some people are not listening to that message," she added.
The county previously released a 5-stage Roadmap to Recovery plan with goals they set to determine when it was deemed safe to further loosen restrictions.
The county on Tuesday reported 1,183 new coronavirus cases and 76 additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 39,573 cases and 1,913 deaths.