Long Beach to implement new COVID-19 safeguards

Restrictions on businesses, individuals aim to slow the spread of virus with minimal impacts to economy, go into effect Friday, Nov. 20.

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An updated Health Order by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services has been issued as of Thursday, Nov. 19, and go into effect Friday, Nov. 20 at 12:01 a.m. According to a press release by the City, the new guidelines will use science and data to minimize the spread of coronavirus, and are in line with orders by the State and County of Los Angeles.

New Capacity Limits for Businesses

• 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.
• 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.
• 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.

Changes to Personal Care Services

• Services may only be performed by appointment.
• Customers and staff both must wear face coverings for the duration of the service.
• Services that require either the customer or staff to remove face coverings, such as facials and shaves, are not permitted.
• Customers may not be offered or consume food or drinks onsite.

Limited Hours for Certain Businesses

• 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.

Face Covering Requirements

A face covering is required over both your nose and mouth whenever you leave your place of residence unless one of the limited exemptions applies. The following individuals are exempt from face covering requirements:
• Persons age two years or under, due to risk of suffocation.
• Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Such conditions are rare. Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
• Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
• Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
• Persons traveling in a car alone or solely with members of their household.
• People who are working in an office or a room alone.
• Persons who are actively eating or drinking provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.
• Persons who are outdoors and maintaining at least six feet of physical distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within six feet of others who are not in their household.
• Persons who are obtaining a medical treatment involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the medical treatment.

Gatherings

• Only outdoor gatherings are permitted.
• A maximum of three households may gather.
• A maximum of 15 people, within those three households, may gather.

The City of Long Beach is continuing its ongoing effort to monitor data, and will refer to Los Angeles County on any potential future changes to the Safer at Home Health Order.

These newest changes were put in place by the City Health Officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, and are in alignment with the Emergency Powers given to the City Manager by the Proclamation of Local Emergency. The orders will be in effect starting Nov. 20, until the Health Officer extends, rescinds or amends it in writing.

California began its Blueprint for a Safer Economy in August, which established system for tracking the spread of coronavirus as well as a four tier color coded system. Counties in the purple tier, such as Los Angeles County, were allowed to make the above modifications to their health guidelines on Oct. 13.