March 4, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

With Over 1 Million Jobless, County Aims at July 4th Reopening

County: 3/4 of unemployment claims are from those making less than $50,000

By Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles County officials are targeting a Fourth of July opening date for retail, restaurants, and malls saying there are more than 1 million unemployed residents countywide.

On Tuesday, at the second convening of the Los Angeles County Economic Resiliency Task Force county leaders expressed a goal to reopen Los Angeles County as early as July 4.

In a presentation, Bill Allen, president of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), confirmed there have been more than 1 million unemployment claims filed in L.A. County to date. More than 75 percent of the projected job losses have an average annual earning of less than $50,000, with restaurants and retail industries hit the hardest.

“I understand the urgency to reopen and know many of the experts the County has assembled for this Task Force have been working hard to develop safe and efficient plans to revitalize their sectors as early as next month,” Supervisor Barger said. “I remain focused on working with industry leaders and health officials to safely make way for Los Angeles County to reopen by the Fourth of July.”

The July 4 date indicates a goal of the full or staged reopening of retail, restaurants, and malls. Sector leaders said many businesses and employees will be impacted over the next few weeks, according to Barger.

At the same time, however, the number of cases reported countywide continues to increase.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed 76 new deaths and 1,183 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To date, Public Health has identified 39,573 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 1,913 deaths. This is an uptick since Monday when 477 cases and 18 deaths were confirmed.

“Each day, as we share this information with you, we know there are people across our community who have suffered tremendous loss. For those of you mourning the passing of a loved one, we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As we continue to reopen more places and spaces in the weeks ahead, we will need to use the tools of physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings to continue to slow the spread.”

In Santa Monica, among residents, there have 243 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths. In Santa Monica nursing homes and health centers, there have been 160 cases and 23 deaths, among both residents and staff.

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