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L.A. County allowing shopping malls, nail salons and playgrounds to reopen

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Following months of closure, shopping centers and nail salons in Los Angeles County will be allowed to resume indoor operations with limited capacity over the next 10 days. Outdoor playgrounds have also been given the greenlight to reopen following the state’s allowance on Tuesday.

The decision to reopen parks falls to the jurisdiction that oversees such spaces, be it city or county. Nail salons and indoor malls will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity and per state guidance, mall food courts and common areas will remain closed.

Officials announced the update one day after the Board of Supervisors voted to direct the Department of Public Health to allow for school waiver applications for grades TK-2. The board also passed a motion to reopen outdoor operations at breweries, wineries and cardrooms.

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The county is taking a staggered approach for reopenings over the next 10 days and will announce reopening dates for individual sectors on Friday.

The county has been allowed to reopen several of the newly reopened business sectors for weeks, but the county refrained until the end of September until after case data from Labor Day had been retrieved.

Health officials have not seen a surge connected to the holiday weekend, and announced Wednesday that the positivity rate and hospitalization count has reached its lowest level since the start of the pandemic. But, officials are projecting an increase in hospitalizations and community transmission in the coming weeks.

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“As many people have noted in public comments to us and letters, there is a desire on the part of those sectors that the state has allowed to reopen for us as a county to work with those sectors and figure out when there would be good timing for us to allow for reopening,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said when asked why the county is moving forward given the likelihood of COVID-19 case increase in the near future.

“We base all our decisions on the data and the science,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “We’ll continue to monitor, but of course will be reliant on people’s compliance.”

Officials announced 30 additional deaths and 1,063 new cases on Wednesday.

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