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Los Angeles County’s public health director Barbara Ferrer said during the county's board of supervisors meeting Tuesday that the stay-at-home order put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic will “with all certainty” be extended through July.
“I do think recovery will be months-long, based on the tools we have at hand today,” Ferrer said. “Our hope is that by using the data, we’d be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months.”
Ferrer says the decision was made due to a lack of widely available testing in the state, either in therapeutic settings or in a rapid at-home form.
“Unless there was a dramatic change in this virus and the tools that we have at hand to actually fight against this virus, there’s no way that we could, in fact, see us not needing to continue with a set of restrictions,” she added.
The county's public health department did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during Tuesday's coronavirus briefing that he supported the county's decision to extend its order.
“There should be no pressure, on local officials down in L.A. or elsewhere to feel that they have to move into this space sooner, because their conditions are very different from some of these rural counties,” Newom said.
Last week, Newsom said California would enter phase 2 of its reopening plans, which include allowing retailers with curbside pickup to begin easing restrictions.
New modifications to the statewide guidelines made Tuesday allow malls to reopen for pickup only as well as offices that don't allow for telecommuting. Also included are outdoor museums and botanical gardens, car washes, and pet grooming and walking businesses.
According to the governor, Butte and El Dorado counties are the only counties at this time to fully meet phase 2 reopening thresholds.
Newsom also said the state has now conducted more than 1 million tests. An average of roughly 35,000 tests are being conducted per day with plans to nearly double that number to 61,000 per day.
The comments from Los Angeles County's top health expert echo those of Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, who warned Tuesday that reopening too soon could "turn back the clock" on economic recovery.
"My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks," he said.
There are more than 1.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 82,000 deaths in the United States.