L.A. County may need to take steps back in economic reopening

Story by Janice Park and Lenise Diaz

Illustration by Alicia Zhang
Staff Illustrator

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has placed Los Angeles County on a coronavirus watch list because of the potential for increased transmission rates as the county slowly transitions into phase three of economic re-opening.

California recently surpassed 150,000 cases and has reported at least 2,000 new infections every day for the past two weeks. Almost three thousand people have died from the pandemic in L.A. County alone. South Pasadena had 137 cases and 21 deaths as of Sunday, June 14, which is three more cases and one more death than last week. 

The CDC warned states on Friday, June 12 that they may need to re-implement the strict social distancing measures that were put in place earlier this year if cases rise “dramatically” nationwide. The CDPH released a statement saying that it will recommend counties reinstate stay-at-home orders if numbers do not improve within 14 days. 

Despite new infections each day, L.A. County moved into phase three of its road map to recovery on Friday, which allowed businesses such as gyms, museums, and TV production studios to reopen. Visitors and employees will be expected to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines. 

Restaurants in South Pasadena have started to once again offer dine-in service, including Blaze Pizza and Shakers. Still, the majority of local eateries are operating mainly on pick-up orders to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus cases. 

As the world waits for a cure, some scientists are looking towards existing vaccines as a way to temporarily boost the body’s immune system. Groups of U.S. researchers are looking into the oral poliovirus vaccine to investigate whether it could help weaken the deadliness of the coronavirus. Scientists believe that this temporary immune boost could provide protection against viruses the vaccine was not designed to counter, thereby mitigating the pandemic’s threat. 

States and counties are proceeding to reopen with caution, but experts advise against returning to a full-functioning society until a coronavirus vaccine is developed, which can take over a year.

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