|Total positives (red dots) and deaths (black dots)||Daily new reported positive cases
LB Hospitalizations (from Apr. 20): Red bars = Snapshot 12:01 a.m. Blue bars = Updated daily|
|(May 23, 2020, 7:05 a.m.) -- At Friday's (May 22) webcast briefing, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia incrementally disagreed with Governor Gavin Newsom's policy (from the Governor-appointed Dir. of the CA Dept. of Public Health) that applies County data -- instead of using LB Health Dept. data -- to decide whether to allow further reopenings in Long Beach. Mayor Garcia and city management's Dir. of Health and Human Services didn't publicly question applying the state standards to Long Beach; instead they acknowledged aspects of the state's standards that LB currently doesn't meet and said LB is working toward meeting them.
But just hours later (at the end of the Friday May 22 business day), L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, joined with the Board's sole Republican, Kathryn Barger, in agendizing an item for the May 26 L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting that goes beyond Long Beach's stance by pursuing "variances" (lesser standards/eased restrictions) for some portions of L.A. County that could allow such areas to reopen more quickly than other County areas. >p>The Barger-Hahn agendized action item moves that "the Board of Supervisors instruct the County Health Officer, working in collaboration with the CEO and County Counsel, to:
A. Work with the State to obtain a partial variance on behalf of interested cities and/or regions within the County; and,
Despite its sweeping tone, it's not immediately clear if the County action would legally apply to Long Beach or Pasadena, which have their own independent Public Health Departments. However if approved by a Board majority, the Supervisors' action would send Sacramento a loud message from the County with roughly a quarter of the state's population. In their agendizing memo, Supervisors Hahn and Barger write in pertinent part:
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On May 4, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-60-20 which, among other things, instructed the State Public Health Officer to "establish criteria and procedures" -- determine whether or how particular local jurisdictions may implement public health measures that depart from statewide directives." The executive order states that, "California law promotes the preservation of public health by providing for local health officers -- appointed by county boards of supervisors and other local authorities -- in addition to providing for statewide authority by a State Public Health Officer; and… these local health officers, working in consultation with county boards of supervisors and other local authorities, are well positioned to understand the local needs of their communities."
The agenda item goes considerably further than a Thursday May 21 letter from Supervisor Hahn to Governor Newsom that urged him to let smaller retail businesses reopen if they apply the same health protocols as larger retail operations the state deems "essential" (at Target, Home Depot and Costco etc.) Supervisor Hahn's letter stated in part:
Retailers across my district that have been deemed "non-essential" have been baffled that they have only been permitted to reopen for curbside pickup while "essential" businesses like Target and Walmart have been fully operational with in-store shopping. Many of these small businesses are not set up for online orders and curbside pickup has not been a good fit for them. They want to reopen for in-store shopping in a way that protects the health of their employees and customers, and I have heard from nearly all of the 27 cities that I represent about ways to support them in doing this.
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