City set to reopen parts of local economy on May 9

Story by Zoe Schlaak
Staff Writer

Photo by Andrés Oyaga

The City of South Pasadena plans to reopen certain parts of the local economy beginning Saturday, May 9. The decision aligns with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that phase two of reopening the state’s economy will start on Friday, May 8. 

The City will reopen select retailers, including florists, toy stores, bookstores, sporting goods, and music stores for curbside pickup, not in-store purchases. However, personal care facilities, nail and hair salons, barbershops, tennis courts, and playgrounds will not reopen on Saturday, May 9. 

Face coverings will be required for all employees and in-person work will remain limited. The City stressed the importance of continuing social distancing, so worker schedules will be adjusted to maintain that. Businesses will also need to ensure proper infection control by implementing strict cleaning measures on high touch surfaces and frequent hand washing. 

South Pasadena is also reopening the Arroyo Seco Golf Course—again with strict social distancing restrictions. Tee times will be staggered to avoid crowding and face coverings will be required. The mini-golf course will reopen on Monday May, 11 by appointment only, due to the size of the course. 

The Golf Course and city bike trails will stay open as long as residents follow social distancing rules and wear face coverings. South Pasadena City Hall will remain closed to the public, but all city departments plan to continue daily operations. 

These reopenings will take place in phase two of the five-stage process outlined by Newsom and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to slowly and safely reverse California’s stay-at-home order. County officials have decided to enter stage two under strict protocol, allowing individual cities to make their own choices based on public health recommendations. 

“[The county] wants to see if we’ll have a surge in cases and will the numbers go up in the result of the last phase,” City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe said. “If the numbers go up, we won’t move to the next phase and if the numbers go up too much, we may go backwards. They may pull the strings and shut down some things that had been open.”

Each stage is dependent on the success of the previous initiatives in slowing the number of coronavirus cases. Currently, South Pasadena is facing nearly 100 coronavirus cases, with 97 infected residents and 12 deaths as of Wednesday, May 6. 

Phase two also includes other low-risk businesses like manufacturers, offices, and more retailers, libraries, museums, and outdoor recreational facilities, which are set to reopen soon after the initial measures on Saturday, May 9. South Pasadena City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe estimates that it will take around two to three weeks or up to four to six weeks before transitioning to the next stage. 

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