Despite a continued rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus in California, schools, gyms, movie theaters, and bars can reopen with modifications beginning today across much of the state.
Film and television productions are also able to send people back to work after months of closures to prevent the spread of the virus effectively shuttered Hollywood.
The reopening comes after California reported nearly its highest single-day total of confirmed new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, with more than 3,000 new infections. Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the pandemic in the state, also reported its second highest number of new cases on Thursday with 1,857 infections and 46 deaths.
But while the state continues to see a rise in new cases, the California Department of Public Health gave the green light for an expanded reopening, including hotels, day camps, museums, zoos, and professional sports without live audiences, with approval from county health officers. Indoor movie theaters can also reopen today.
Not everywhere is reopening: While most counties across the state will further resume their economies on Friday, some regions, such as the Bay Area, are taking a more conservative approach, holding off on reopening some businesses and services until later this summer. And a number of other industries and activities, including nail salons, theme parks, public events and gatherings, in-person college courses, and convention centers remain closed statewide.
While California's schools are allowed to reopen today, most are aiming to do so with the new school year in the fall. Schools and childcare facilities will be given thermometers, face shields, masks, face coverings, and hand sanitizer for safety. According to the guidance for schools, the California Department of Public Health recommends implementing distance inside and outside the classroom, limit sharing, intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation as well as training teachers and staff to educate families and students on proper hygiene, the use of face coverings, and physical distancing.
Here's the restrictions for industries that are reopening:
- Fitness facilities will have to implement measures to ensure physical distancing and evaluate occupancy rules based on the size of the facility, according to the guidance.
- Bars, restaurants, and wineries must prioritize outdoor seating and curbside pickup. State public health officials also recommend air circulation by opening windows or doors, disposable or low-touch menus, and asking guests to wear a face covering when not eating or drinking.
- Indoor movie theaters must limit the number of attendees to 25% of capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.