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Scores of L.A. businesses reopened but failed to follow safety rules, officials say

A customer picks up a purchase at the front door of a sports shoe and apparel store along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles on Friday, following the curbside pickup and social distancing rules.
A customer picks up a purchase at the front door of a sports shoe and apparel store along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles on Friday, following the curbside pickup and social distancing rules.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

As California businesses slowly reopen, public health officials are trying to make sure they follow social distancing rules to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

Over the weekend, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said that it surveyed 410 businesses and found 162 were in violation “because they were allowing customers into stores, not following physical distancing measures and not requiring customers to wear cloth face coverings.”

Some retailers were allowed to reopen with curbside service beginning Friday, including florists, bookstores and clothing stores.

“As a reminder, retail establishments are closed to public entry and must ensure compliance with all protocols before reopening. Inspectors will continue to monitor for compliance and ensure that all adhere to the health officer order,” the county said.

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County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said one concern was flower shops that were observed allowing customers into stores, not following the physical distancing measures, and not requiring the customers to wear cloth face coverings, she told reporters Monday.

Hiking trails, parks and golf courses reopened throughout the county Saturday. Overall, Ferrer said people did not mob those locations.

Los Angeles County beaches, which have been closed since late March, will reopen Wednesday with restrictions.

Surfing, swimming, running and walking will be allowed. Biking, playing volleyball, sitting, sunbathing and picnicking will not. Coolers and canopies are also not allowed. Parking lots, bike paths, piers and boardwalks will remain closed.

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Everyone will be required to wear masks and stay at least six feet away from others, officials said.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said the vast majority of San Franciscans are complying with the health orders. Officers have patrolled parks each weekend to ensure people are wearing masks and keeping six feet apart.

San Francisco will monitor hospitalization rates closely after some small businesses are allowed to reopen for pickup and delivery next week, city officials said Monday.

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“Offering delivery and pickup service is a big step, and it is definitely a big risk,” Mayor London Breed said at a news conference with other city officials. “We know that the more people are in contact with the public, there is a higher probability that they can contract the virus.”


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