Gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools, campgrounds, day camps, beach parking lots, museums, galleries, hotels and short-term rentals in Long Beach — along with the Aquarium of the Pacific — will be able to reopen Friday, June 12.
Mayor Robert Garcia announced the slate of changes to the city’s stay-at-home order during a Wednesday afternoon, June 10, briefing, shortly after Los Angeles County announced the same changes would be made to the county order.
Garcia said aligning with LA County on these reopenings is important because “Long Beach does not exist in a bubble.”
“We know that a majority of people who live in Long Beach work outside of Long Beach; we know a lot of people who work in other cities are also coming into the city,” he said. “If we don’t move as a region, it becomes problematic for us. We will be affected regardless of where the city goes.”
Two sectors — bars and family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys or arcades — for which the state gave the okay to reopen starting Friday, though, will not be permitted to open back up in Long Beach or LA County.
“I know that’s hard for some folks, especially for a lot of bartenders and folks that work in this industry,” Garcia said, “but bars will not be reopening. I think the county Health Department, our own Health Department and our state partners don’t believe our numbers are adequately there yet.”
Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy said during the Wednesday briefing that those reopenings could happen later in June.
In family entertainment centers, she said, “it’s very hard to distance, and they’re almost like a playground, so we want to make sure they’re sufficiently prepared to create a safer environment for families.”
The news came as Long Beach reported 40 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and no new deaths. The city’s death toll remained 103, and there were 2,436 cases identified in Long Beach as of Wednesday.
About 1,785 people have recovered, and 80 people were hospitalized with the virus as of Wednesday.
It’s still unclear what impact the dozens of protests held in Long Beach since May 31 will have on the spread of the virus.
But Colopy said Long Beach’s indicators — including the number of cases and hospitalizations — still meet the threshold the state requires to lift more of the closure orders that were intended to stem the spread of the virus.
“We will continue to track those data,” she said. “If we really see a large spike in the data, we’re going to have to hold off” on moving forward with more reopenings.
To prevent that from happening, Garcia encouraged people who are leaving the house more to do so safely by wearing face coverings, staying at least 6 feet from others and washing your hands frequently.
“It’s really important now because this is a shift in the economic output of our community,” he said. “We have to be more careful than we’ve ever been.”