Long Beach to announce plans this week for reopening small retailers, changes to outdoor recreation orders

Long Beach in the coming days is expected to announce plans for reopening small retail businesses and changes to outdoor recreation orders.

The news comes in the wake of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that the state will reopen some small retailers beginning Friday. Newsom said he will provide specific state guidelines, including how businesses will need to modify their operations to reopen safely, on Thursday.

Counties and jurisdictions with their own health departments can make their own decisions on when to reopen small businesses based on local health data.

In a news conference Monday, Mayor Robert Garcia said the city does not yet have specific details, but is working on a regional plan with Los Angeles County on when to reopen some businesses. The city’s “safer-at-home” order to prevent the spread of coronavirus extends through May 15.

The reopening will happen in stages. Stage two, which is in the works, includes small retailers such as mom and pop shops, clothing, books and sporting goods stores and other businesses that can offer curbside pickup. Manufacturing and supply chain businesses could also reopen.

Garcia said the city will provide more information later this week. The city by this weekend is also expected to announce changes to outdoor recreation orders that could mean reopening bike paths and other opens spaces for exercise.

“I want to just remind everyone that Long Beach and our partners in L.A. County have the ability to choose the exact timing and the dates on when we can start going into stage two,” Garcia said.

Offices, beauty salons, dine-in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and other large businesses are not included in the first wave or reopenings.

Garcia said the city will continue to monitor local coronavirus infections and hospitalization rates.

As of Monday, the city had 768 positive cases, up from 760 on Sunday. The city has not seen a death in several days, with the number of fatalities standing at 37. The number of hospitalizations was slightly lower this week with 42 people hospitalized.

The mayor noted that the city’s hospitalization rate appears to be stabilizing, but health officials remain cautious.

“We are not going to get ahead and do the wrong thing,” he said.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].
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