City to allow gyms, galleries, aquarium to reopen Friday; bars to remain closed

Long Beach, along with Los Angeles County, will allow gyms, day camps, art galleries and the Aquarium of the Pacific to open Friday with safety measures, but bars and other industries deemed too risky will remain closed.

The new health order comes after the state allowed these activities to reopen in areas that have shown they have stabilized the spread of coronavirus, and have shown they have the capacity to handle a surge in new cases, deaths or hospitalizations.

Businesses allowed to reopen Friday with safety protocols include gyms, fitness facilities, pro sports facilities without spectators, day camps, zoos, aquariums, campgrounds, swimming pools, music production, film/TV production and hotels for leisure travel.

The city will not allow bars, wineries and large family entertainment centers to reopen, even though they are on the state’s list of businesses that counties and public health departments can allow to resume. This includes bowling alleys and arcades.

Other industries not allowed to reopen because the state has not allowed it include nail salons, massage and tattoo parlors, movie theaters, live performances, concerts, stadiums, arenas, larger theme parks, festivals and other large gatherings.

Mayor Robert Garcia said at a media briefing Wednesday the city is watching its numbers closely, particularly hospitalization rates, in making decisions.

“We know a lot of folks are disappointed, but we are making these decisions based on public health,” he said in reference specifically to bars.

Health director Kelly Colopy said city officials, in collaboration with the county, will review the data again with possible announcements later this month.

The city has seen a slow rise in hospitalizations, which peaked at 105 on May 24 and remained at 100 a week later, on May 31. The number of people hospitalized on Wednesday was 80, though those numbers are often revised as the city gets information from hospitals.

Garcia, however, said he has talked with local hospital officials, and they have assured him they have plenty of space and ventilators if needed.

“Long Beach is prepared,” he said. “We’re in a good place.”

The city on Wednesday reported 103 people have died of coronavirus and 2,436 people have tested positive for the virus.

County officials also reported Wednesday an additional 61 deaths due to coronavirus, for a total of 2,768, and 1,275 new cases, bringing the total to 67,064 total cases.

Requirements for businesses allowed to reopen Friday will be posted on the city’s COVID-19 website.


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Melissa has been a journalist for over two decades, starting her career as a reporter covering health and religion and moving into local news. She has worked as an editor for eight years, including seven years at the Press Telegram before joining the Long Beach Post in June 2018. She also serves as a part-time lecturer at Cal State Long Beach where she teaches multimedia journalism and writing.