LA Supervisor Kathryn Barger: County keeps reopening deliberately and cautiously

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This downtown Culver City restaurant and many other La businesses are reopening. Meanwhile, COVID-19 transmission rates are up and hospitalization numbers aren’t declining in LA. Photo by Amy Ta.

Los Angeles County has received the “green light” from Governor Gavin Newsom to continue to reopen, despite being the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in California.

Gyms, day camps, and museums can open their doors Friday, and film production can restart.  

“Even if we lift restrictions, people 65 and older with preexisting conditions need to be careful and stay at home as much as possible,” says LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who says the county is moving deliberately and cautiously.

“Obviously, COVID is of great concern, but I’m also seeing it hit people as it relates to mental health — not knowing if they’re going to have a job when they come back,” she says. “So we need to balance both. We need to get the county up and open again, recognizing that people are going to have to continue to practice social distancing.”

But COVID-19 transmission rates are up in LA, and hospitalization numbers aren’t declining. LA makes up nearly 65% of the state’s total death toll from the coronavirus, despite being home to only about a quarter of the state’s population. Despite this, Barger wants to move forward with reopening.

“I would hate to see us turn back the clock, and quite frankly, I don’t think there’s an appetite in the community to do that,” she says. “People are ready to get back to work.”

Credits

Guest:
Kathryn Barger - Los Angeles County Supervisor

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Kathryn Barnes