As Malibu entered its 10th week living under the Los Angeles County Safer at Home order, dine-in restaurants as well as barber shops and beauty salons received the go-ahead order to begin reopening last Friday, May 29—with distancing measures in place.

The Safer at Home order, which was instated on March 19 in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, has been slowly lifted over the past several weeks—even as case numbers continue to rise across LA County’s urban areas.

The reopening of Malibu came just a few days after a similar order was instituted in neighboring Ventura County and came as a result of a variance offered to LA County by the governor’s office at the request of LA County Supervisors.

“This is an important milestone for Los Angeles County as we transition to being ‘Safer at Work’ and ‘Safer in our Communities’ and move forward in our path of reopening and recovery,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement released by the county. “I am grateful to our state and local leaders for their partnership and collaboration in supporting the residents and businesses of Los Angeles County.”

In Malibu, a total of 38 residents had tested positive for coronavirus by the time The Malibu Times went to print on Tuesday, June 2, up from 35 the week previous. There remained just one death attributed to COVID-19 among Malibu residents.

New coronavirus case numbers outside Malibu continued to climb at a steeper pace—with 1,200 new cases reported on Tuesday, preceded by 978 new cases countywide the day before. 

The potential for coronavirus spread was compounded by large protests in the streets of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and other nearby communities as outrage mounted in cities nationwide over police brutality. The protests, coupled with looting, rioting and violent pushback from local law enforcement officers, resulted in all coronavirus testing centers being shut down over safety concerns, according to statements from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Free coronavirus testing has been offered to all residents of LA County, resulting in a cumulative total of 633,260 tests being administered countywide from March to May, according to statistics provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. But whereas 11,980 tests were administered on Friday, May 29, only 6,551 were given the following day, Saturday, as testing sites were closed down. Testing sites at some locations began to open the following day. On Sunday, statistics from the county showed, only 1,087 tests were taken.

In total, on Tuesday, June 2, 13 LA County novel coronavirus testing sites remained closed due to the ongoing civil unrest, with another five City of Los Angeles testing sites also closed.

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