LOS ANGELES – With 50 new deaths in the past 24 hours, and a total of 2,290 deaths and 51,562 identified positive COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases in Los Angeles County to date, the LA County Department of Public Health – Environmental Health Specialist Nona Oganisyan, issued a message in Armenian today during the daily press briefing, updating the Armenian-American community on the County’s request for a variance from the State of California which was approved today, urging the community to continue following safe practices to avoid getting infected along with updated statistical data.

Now that the variance has been granted by the State, LA County Public Health will be amending the current Health Officer Order, Safer at Work and in the Community, to allow for restaurants and hair salons to reopen only with the proper distancing and infection control protocols in place. All businesses must adhere to distancing and infection control protocols that provide safety for employees, customers and the County’s most vulnerable residents before reopening. These protocols were developed to guide reopening and are available online. Inspectors will continue to monitor for compliance and ensure that all adhere to the Health Officer Order. Higher-risk businesses remain are to remain closed.

As the recovery journey continues, more people being around one another may result in more transmission of COVID-19, more cases, and more hospitalizations and deaths. The actions everyone takes today will impact where numbers are in two or three weeks. Everyone must continue to follow distancing and infection control protocols and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when in contact with other people not in your household. Public Health will assess the activities allowed by the Order on an ongoing basis. LA County is in stage two of the five-stage Roadmap to Recovery and until the final stage five is reached, Health Officer Orders and directives will continue to ensure that we slow spread of COVID-19 to prevent an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 cases at healthcare facilities.

The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community can be found on the LA County Public Health website.

The latest figures, according to the LA County Public Health Department website, the city of Glendale continues as one of the highest affected with 965 positive COVID-19 cases, and 79 deaths to date. Other areas with high populations of Armenian-Americans, include Burbank (395 cases), East Hollywood (225 cases), Hollywood (272 cases), Little Armenia (194 cases), Montebello (381 cases), North Hollywood (686 cases), Northridge (329 cases), Pasadena (911 cases), Sunland (148 cases), and Tujunga (122 cases). For a complete up to date list of COVID-19 posit cases by cities and institutions, visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/

The City of Los Angeles, is providing free COVID-19 testing to all Los Angeles City residents, whether or not you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Priority for the same or next day testing will still be given to people with symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Testing is also prioritized for certain critical front-line workers who interact with the public while working. All Los Angeles County residents can find out if they are eligible for a test and schedule an appointment at a drive-up mobile testing site. Visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/ to see if you qualify for testing.

Examples of activities now permitted under the changes enacted today:

  • Faith-based organizations may resume services, with the number of congregants limited to less than 25% of the building’s capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.
  • All retail, including those located in indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers may now open for business at 50% capacity.
  • Flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may resume operations.
  • Pools, hot tubs and saunas that are in a multi-unit residence or part of a homeowners association may now open.

Key, specific guidelines for customers at hair salons, barbershops and in-person restaurant dining are below:

Barbershops and hair salons

  • Physical distancing measures will be in place.
  • Employees and customers will be screened for symptoms, including cough and fever. Clients feeling unwell should reschedule their appointment.
  • Everyone, including clients, must wear cloth face coverings while in the salon or barber shop and clients are encouraged to wear face coverings with earloops to ensure the face covering does not interfere with the hair service.
  • Magazines, coffee and other amenities will not be available.
  • Clients are encouraged to use credit cards and contactless payment systems. If electronic or card payment is not possible, customers should come with exact cash payment or check, if available.
  • Stylists may only serve one client at a time.

For the detailed protocols visit: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/.

Personal grooming that is still closed, or prohibited, at this time:

  • Nail salons
  • Spa services, including massage, facials and waxing

In-person dining in restaurants

  • Physical distancing measures will be in place.
  • Employees and customers will be screened for symptoms, including cough and fever. Patrons feeling unwell should not eat at a restaurant.
  • Outdoor seating and curbside pickup are prioritized.
  • Reservations will be encouraged.
  • Customers will be asked to wait for their table in their cars or outside the restaurant to prevent crowds from gathering.
  • Diners must wear cloth face coverings when not eating.
  • Bar areas will be closed.
  • Occupancy capacity will be limited to 60% for the next three weeks.

For the detailed protocol visit: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/.

Los Angeles County is under a Safer At Work And In The Community order and public and private gatherings of people outside of a single household unit are not permitted except for public protests and faith-based services, which are permitted to operate with limits on the number of participants.

Everyone must continue to follow physical distancing and infection control protocols and wear a cloth face covering when in contact with others not in your household.

Still closed are:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Beach piers
  • Indoor entertainment venues including arcades, bowling alleys, movie theaters, live performance theaters, concert halls, stadiums, arenas, theme parks, gaming facilities and festivals
  • Indoor museums, galleries and zoos
  • Click here for a detailed list of what’s open and closed in L.A. County

The new openings are part of a phased progression guiding the safe resumption of public life in Los Angeles County, including the resumption and reopenings that include: in-person faith-based services, in-store shopping at retail stores, bike paths, drive-in movies and other recreational pursuits. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will amend its Health Officer Order accordingly.

The best protection against COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing (especially by staying at home) and wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household. People who have underlying health conditions remain at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, so it will continue to be very important for the County’s vulnerable residents to stay at home as much as possible, to have groceries and medicine delivered, and to call their providers immediately if they have even mild symptoms.

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