Film And TV Production Can Restart In L.A. On Friday, So Long As Protocols Are In Place, Say Los Angeles County Health Officials

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced modifications to the health order her office has issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those changes will permit the reopening of sectors that include film and TV production.

The order will be issued tomorrow, with the effective date of June 12. Sectors can reopen once they implement required protocols, which will also be announced tomorrow.

Other sectors slated for reopening on Friday include gyms, day camps, museums, zoos, campgrounds, pro sports arenas (without live audiences) and hotels.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has generally followed the county’s lead on coronavirus reopeningings. In fact, Garcetti uses the county health department’s stats when addressing COVID-19.

California Governor Gavin Newsom released on Friday his long-awaited guidelines for restarting film and TV production in the state amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. These are statistical benchmarks which counties must achieve before reopening.

Director Ferrer on Wednesday introduced a graph which she said provided a “clear picture” that the seven day rolling average of COVID-related deaths in the county trending down, both for the region as a whole and at skilled nursing facilities. The seven day rolling average of deaths is a key measure of readiness to reopen further.

After Newsom’s announcement last week, the final decision as to whether to open specific sectors was left to local officials. L.A. County on Wednesday made the decision to proceed.

Newsom has said modifications to regional guidance would be allowed so long as there are attestations at the county level that there are adequate plans in place should a rise in COVID cases be seen again.

Those plans would presumably include the procedural protocols such as safe distancing, masks and proper sanitization.

Ferrer indicated that on those protocols will be a part of the order issued tomorrow.

Strangely, this news comes after Los Angeles County was yesterday placed on a state “watch list” over concerns of a rise in the transmission rate, which county public health officers is continuing.

The California Department of Public Health issued its guidelines on Monday that would allow movie theaters to reopen as soon as Friday, June 12. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to comment on this current easing of COVID-19 restrictions, but the news provides the industry with a semblance of a summer season.

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