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Manhattan Beach Sees Gradual Progress, Openings in COVID-19 Situation

Oct 07, 2020 10:58AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

A sign outside the 8th Street Parkette in Manhattan Beach. The playground facilities are due to open today or tomorrow.

The city of Manhattan Beach is making slow but steady progress in keeping the COVID-19 pandemic at bay, according to statistics released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and city leaders.

The total number of cases in the city since the pandemic began stands at 373 since the pandemic began, a number that reflects those who have already recovered.

In the past 30 days in Manhattan Beach, there has been an increase of 43 cases, or about 1.43 new cases per day.

At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery credited the city's face covering requirement - and residents' compliance - with keeping the numbers at bay. 

"We're doing a good job with compliance, and we’re doing a good job with enforcement," said Montgomery. "The whole South Bay numbers have dropped for a reason. Manhattan and Hermosa are enforcing face coverings, and they’re working."

City Manager Bruce Moe reported that officers were continuing to issue citations for those who were not cooperating with the facial covering requirement. 

Last week, according to Moe, officers issued 178 citations, for a year-to-date total of 816. They also issued 348 warnings last week, for a year-to-date total of 6,371. 

The city hands out masks to those who do not have them. Officers give warnings to individuals who have face coverings but are not wearing them or are not wearing them properly (such as around the chin). Citations are given to those who refuse to wear a face covering when asked.

(Moe also reported that the first five mask citation cases from Manhattan Beach have gone before an administrative hearing officer, who ruled in favor of the city in those five cases.)

Gradual Re-Openings Around Town

Across town, a variety of locations are gradually reopening. 

  • Beginning today, October 7, indoor malls such as Manhattan Village Mall will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity (food courts and common areas will remain closed);
  • Nail salons were allowed to re-open indoor operations at 25% capacity as of Oct.  1;
  • City playgrounds and fitness stations will be opening by the end of the day today or tomorrow. (The only exception is the playground space that is under construction at Polliwog Park.);
  • The Manhattan Beach Library has extended its sidewalk service on Tuesday evenings. Sidewalk service hours are now M, W, F 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (phone service from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.); Tuesdays noon to 7:00 p.m. (phone service 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.);
  • The city is looking into opening Pennekamp Elementary School and Pacific Elementary School fields from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, pending discussions with the school district. 

Almost all large fall and holiday events in Manhattan Beach have been canceled due to restrictions on gatherings. However, organizers are working on virtual events and new socially distanced opportunities.

The Manhattan Beach holiday fireworks show is officially "on pause" with a "Go/No Go" decision set for the week of Nov. 2. However, during last night's City Council discussion, council members conceded that the annual show will almost certainly not take place due to restrictions on gatherings. Discussions about possible alternatives are continuing.

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