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California

Long Beach to open more recreational areas on Monday

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The Pike, a popular dining and entertainment area in downtown Long Beach, has been almost completely deserted during the coronavirus lockdown.
(Luis Sinco)

The city of Long Beach announced guidelines Sunday for the reopening of some pedestrian and bike trails, tennis centers and tennis courts, requiring that users maintain physical distance and wear masks or other face coverings when in close contact with other people.

“We know our community has been anxious to get back outdoors,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a news release. “Please remember to practice physical distancing so that we can continue to make more places available.”

As we all adjust to our new lives under the umbrella of the coronavirus, Los Angeles Times photographer Luis Sinco gives us a look at Long Beach.

The city announced last week that some businesses and outdoor recreational activities, including golf courses and public trails and trailheads, would begin reopening with restrictions starting last Friday.

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Starting Monday, walking and bike paths along the sandy portions of beaches will reopen. So will tennis courts, archery and disc golf areas and park parking lots. Beaches and beach parking lots will remain closed, and parks continue to be open only for “passive use,” such as walking, running and biking, but not for picnics or other social gatherings.

The following safety protocols will be in place at the reopened areas:

Beach bike and pedestrian paths

  • Stay at least six feet from others who are not members of your household at all times.
  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Do not gather in groups or linger at any one location, except as needed for brief rests.
  • Face coverings are required when in close contact with other people but are not required while engaging in physically distanced exercise.
  • Beach bathrooms are now open.

Tennis centers

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  • The centers must implement a “tennis physical distancing protocol” prior to reopening, including posting signs about infection control and making hand sanitizer available at entrances.
  • Pro shop sales are for curbside pickup only.
  • Restaurants and concessions are for takeout only.

As of Sunday, Long Beach had 948 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 44 deaths, according to the city’s health department. The city reported last month that a large share of deaths were tied to nursing homes or long-term care facilities and put in place a series of new protocols to slow the spread.

City officials said last week that Long Beach can now offer robust testing and has “ample hospital capacity,” with about 50% of beds and 70% of ventilators available on any given day.

“Our reopening decisions are based on the best public health advice and data indicators that show hospitalizations flattening and capacity at our hospitals,” Garcia said.


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