LOS ANGELES- California already received backlash against the new tiered system since they decided to reopen businesses in the middle of COVID-19.
Los Angeles is the first among the states which crossed the sad milestone of 700000 cases for COVID-19. But, California meantime embarked a new tiered plan, and they have decided to reopen businesses that were crying foul.
Many critics responded that system has not considered into account some businesses which operate safely even in other countries where they have relatively high numbers of COVID-cases. Compared to others, some businesses have hit harder, and it appears that they are also performing similar services.
Jim Desmond, San Diego County Supervisor, said, “While certain businesses are allowed to open … many others continue to be greatly limited, hampered, or even closed.” He held a news conference majorly on the issue on Monday. He also added
“The state continues to change the targets and move the goalposts.”
Desmond also quoted that “But in the most restrictive category, gyms remain closed. There is permission for smaller operations to operate safely, but there must be enforcement of social distancing.”
Legoland was classified as a theme park, and hence it should stay shut. SeaWorld San Diego will reopen since it comes under the “Zoos and Museums” category. So, SeaWorld San Diego has already started hosting its “Zoo Days” from last weekend.
Now, the issue is with manicurists since there is no permission for working indoors, but hair saloons have no problems.
An industry group, Pro Nails Association’s chairman, Mike Vo, quoted, “It makes no sense to us.”
The new guidelines contain a color-coded and four-tier system announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. The new guidelines were based on the rates of COVID-19 cases in every 58 counties in California. The majority of the counties in the state remained in the most severe and affected category. The list included part of the San Francisco Bay Area and metropolitan Los Angeles. For 21 days, counties were not allowed to move to the less restrictive area. These guidelines were structured to ensure the COVID-19 case trend is not worsening further.
Compared to any other state, California was hit a little more challenging by the coronavirus, and the number of coronavirus cases reveals the same. But since there is a significant decline in the number of new topics lately, there is a new plan. The plan allows even counties present in the most severe category that is purple to reopen barbershops, shopping malls, and hair salons but with limited capacity.
In the northern part of the state, the Redding, a restaurant was allowed to reopen indoors in the current week but with 50% capacity. It reopened under new rules since the county, Shasta, falls into the orange category or “moderate.”
A managing partner, Ed Rullman, said, “In Redding, the patio at C.R. Gibbs American Grille was full. For the first time in weeks, the dinners were also eating inside.”
Rullman also added,
“We’re doing the mask thing; we’re doing sanitation, washing our hands, and distancing the tables six feet (apart) and sometimes even more.”
“But, reopening in the 50% capacity is much better and ideal,” He added.
The majority of the cities are allowing restaurants to open outdoors. They have even created seating areas on the streets. But, in all restaurants, it is not working. For instance, Diners in Visalia have already deterred because of the San Joaquin Valley’s-wildfire smoke and extreme heat. Hence they need indoor dining, which is a blessing for them.
Steve Nelsen, Visalia Vice Mayor, said, “Customers should decide whether they have the risk of contracting the coronavirus or not.”
He also added,
“As an individual, I can decide whether I feel safe to enter or not.”
In some cases, the guidelines even looked arbitrary and even unrelated to the current degree of risk. On tribal land, some casinos were reopened with all precautions like plastic partitions and mask requirements. But some which were entirely under local or state jurisdiction remain closed.
Kyle Kirkland, president of the California Gaming Association, said, “I think it’s devastating.”The governor’s office looks like they are playing with colors.”
For some, the recent attempt of the reopening plan even seemed to be chaotic. There were four unique reopening plans in the last six months. The chairwoman of the California Republican Party, Jessica Patterson said to USA TODAY,
“The back and forth, it’s driving people insane.”
Even though there is a necessity to navigate the new guidelines or state rules, some counties are still restrictive. For instance, Los Angeles, even on Monday, wasn’t permitting haircutting for indoor shops. But, it was already allowed but at limited capacity under state rules.
In the Studio City section, Los Angeles, The Trim, a salon’s owner, Dani Lyn, quoted, “It’s horrifying,” “They allow you to open to cut hair, but not in L.A. County.”
Dani Lyn’s stylists were working outdoors, and there were operating on a patio. They were unable to perform specific critical services like coloring. So she said, “It’s galling.” The reason was she knows clearly that her employees are capable of working indoors with all safety measures.
Christie Nguyen, Nail salon co-owner, co-owner of the Studio 18 Nail Bar in Tustin, present in the south of Los Angeles, quoted that, if her business were allowed to restart, she will put safety first and start with manicure services. They are ready to maintain safety rules by separating their customers using a clear plastic shield since they will be working just on their hands and feet. She also added that her employees would maintain space between chairs, and they will wear masks.
“But, it is a race against time,” she added.
She also revealed that the salon pays thousands of dollars as rent, and it is definitely like trying to hang on for her since the state announced the requirement of 21 days to move into the new category. Most businesses had to wait until the new guidelines are reported after 21 days once they move to a new category.
Nguyen also said, “It’s a mess.”