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California OKs Resumption Of Shopping At Retail Stores

Shalina Chatlani
Shoppers walk around the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego in this photo taken December 23, 2019.

The California Department of Public Health Monday announced the statewide reopening of in-store retail shopping, a major step in California's emergence from shutdown orders issued in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The retail guidance for in-person shopping that is already in place for certain counties, including San Diego, now applies statewide, officials said.

Retail does not include personal services such as hair salons, nail salons and barbershops.

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Monday's announcement came as Gov. Gavin Newsom released guidelines for resuming in-person services at churches and other houses of worship.

"Together, our actions have helped bend the curve and reduce infections in our state. As sectors continue to open with changes that aim to lower risk, remember that COVID-19 is still present in our communities," said Dr. Sonia Angell, the state's public health officer and director of the health department. "As more of us may be leaving our homes, keeping physical distance, wearing face coverings in public, and washing your hands frequently are more important than ever to help protect yourself and those around you."

Reopening is subject to approval by county public health departments. It was unclear when Los Angeles and Orange counties might act to facilitate the resumption of in-person shopping.

Los Angeles County retail businesses inside enclosed shopping malls were allowed to reopen this weekend, but only for curbside pickup service.

Orange County has resumed in-restaurant dining and allowed curbside service for stores located in shopping centers.

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In San Diego, retail stores were allowed to reopen for curbside pickup since May 8. On Saturday, Fashion Valley Mall reopened for shopping but with social distancing and curbside service.