(November 19, 2020) Due to a significant rise in COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations, the State of California and City of Long Beach have issued updated health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that beginning Saturday, November 21, a new limited Safer at Home Order will be in place requiring non-essential work, movement and gatherings to stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the Purple Tier, which includes Los Angeles County. This order will remain in effect for one month, until December 21.
The City of Long Beach has announced new health protocols, the most significant of which are capacity limits and curfews for certain businesses, and stricter rules about gatherings and face mask requirements. These updated guidelines go into effect Friday, November 20, at noon. You can read a summary of these changes by clicking here, and highlights for businesses are listed below the body of this email. Read the City’s full updated Health Order by clicking here.
The context for these actions is critical. The COVID-19 infection rate has doubled both within L.A. County and statewide since the beginning of November. Today, Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis reported the highest increase in COVID-19 infections in a single day since the start of the pandemic: 5,031. Davis said that if the current trajectory of new infections and hospitalizations continues, the County could face a strict stay-at-home order/shutdown as soon as Sunday, November 22. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the L.A. County Health Department, has expressed that if health protocols are followed and the current infection and hospitalization rates are curbed, a shutdown could be avoided.
The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) understands that additional restrictions on operations will undoubtedly make things more difficult for businesses. However, compliance with health protocols is critical to curb the current rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Now is the time to double down on wearing masks, distancing, and employing health and safety protocols at local businesses. DLBA will continue to inform its stakeholders of new regulations as they occur, and to provide resources and tools to aid in compliance – and DLBA does urge compliance. Adhering to health protocols and best practices will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and it is the ONLY way to avoid another shutdown.
To attempt to curb the increase in infections, the City of Long Beach is implementing the following rules beginning Friday, November 20, at noon.
- Restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars that serve sit-down dine-meals and non-essential retail businesses, must close from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. The last customer must be seated and finish their meal in time for the business to be completely closed by 10 p.m.
- Restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries that offer outdoor in-person dining should achieve no more than 50% maximum occupancy by separating different tables by eight feet. This requirement is to ensure that a physical distance of six feet between customers and workers is achieved while customers are seated.
- Non-essential businesses including retail stores and personal care services, and offices for essential businesses, healthcare operations, or essential infrastructure, may operate at no more than 25% maximum occupancy.
- Outdoor family entertainment centers (such as those located in public parks, batting cages, and mini golf courses) may operate at no more than 50% maximum occupancy to ensure a minimum six-foot distance between members of different households.
- Personal care services businesses may only perform services by appointment and may not perform any services that require either the customer or staff to remove face coverings. Customers may not consume food or beverages.
Please reach out to Communications Manager Samantha Mehlinger at SamanthaM@dlba.org if you have any questions about this information. Business operators may also contact Austin Metoyer, DLBA Economic Development & Policy Manager at AustinM@dlba.org.
Visit DLBA’s COVID-19 Resource Page for business assistance information, government health regulations, and more