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Wednesday, May 20, 2020
LA County COVID-19 Cases Top 40,000
57 additional deaths reported on Wednesday
CITY NEWS SERVICE
County officials reported 57 new deaths and 1,324 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 1,970 and the total number of cases to 40,857.
“It’s still relatively easy to become infected, particularly if you’re not taking precautions — and unfortunately, there have been recent parties and gatherings that did result in a number of newly infected people,” said County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “So, please find ways to enjoy the holiday with people from your own household, or with friends and family from afar, using our technology tools. Being together from a distance is currently our new normal, and while this is temporary, for this Memorial Day we’ll still need to practice social distancing.”
The county has been slowly reopening recreational amenities and retail businesses for curbside pickup only. The county’s Economic Resiliency Task Force, which includes members of the Board of Supervisors and local business leaders, met on Tuesday and set a target date of July 4 for a full or staged reopening of most of the county’s economy.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Wednesday that goal was set following a meeting that included some dire numbers presented by business leaders.
“It was sobering,” she said. “The restaurant industry reported that 80% of jobs have been lost. The entertainment industry indicated that 890,000 film and entertainment employees are not working, which trickles down to many of the small businesses that provide support for this industry.
“… Anyone listening to yesterday’s meeting heard loud and clear that employees and businesses are suffering. The economic impacts created by COVID-19 have hurt our most vulnerable populations the most. Prolonged closure means many small businesses may not be able to reopen and will cause permanent job losses for millions throughout this county. I understand the urgency to reopen quickly, but we must do it safely and public health guidance has to (guide) what we do.”