LOS ANGELES – California coronavirus deaths topped 13,000 this week, another grim milestone despite a generally improving picture that is allowing more communities to ease pandemic restrictions.
As of Wednesday morning, the state had 13,171 deaths and 316,900 cases, according to the Los Angeles Times tracker. California has more confirmed cases than any other state but still has recorded far fewer deaths than New York, where more than 30,000 died.
Under new guidelines announced Friday, all of the state’s counties – no matter their COVID-19 status – are allowed to reopen shopping malls, retail stores and hair salons under certain conditions. Counties are taking varying approaches in adapting to the relaxed guidelines.
In San Francisco, plans announced Tuesday by Mayor London Breed and Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax reflect a cautious approach.
The city reopened outdoor pools, indoor malls, outdoor hair salons and barbershops and outdoor personal services with some restrictions on Monday. But indoor operations at barbershops and hair salons may not reopen until late September. Nail salons may reopen for indoor services, with modifications at that point, as well as indoor church services, with 25% of a building’s capacity for a maximum of 25 people.
In Los Angeles County, officials are expected to announce a decision Wednesday on whether to reopen more businesses.
If county officials decide to lift the restrictions ahead of Labor Day weekend, businesses would be allowed to operate at 25% capacity, as well as indoor modified operations at hair salons and barbershops.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer and the L.A. Board of Supervisors met Tuesday to discuss the new guidance, but no decision was made.
In a statement, Ferrer suggested that current conditions still don’t allow for an immediate reopening.