Sup. Barger to ask Board to Support AB420 (Safe Reopening of Theme Parks)

LOS ANGELES COUNTY —Supervisor Kathryn Barger will introduce a motion tomorrow asking the Board of Supervisors to send a five-signature letter in support of Assembly Bill 420, a bipartisan bill by Assembly members Sharon Quirk-Silva and Suzette Martinez Valladares. If approved, this legislation would amend the “COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Amusement Parks and Themes Parks” to allow for the reopening of amusement parks once a region is in the Moderate (Orange) Risk tier as determined by the State. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. Currently, all amusement and theme parks must remain closed until a region meets the Minimal (Yellow) Risk tier.

To enter the Minimal Risk tier, the region must have fewer than one daily case of COVID per 100,000 residents and meet a test positivity rate less than two percent. In densely populated regions such as Los Angeles County, this can be an onerous restriction before an amusement or theme park is able to reopen. This legislation considers critical safety protocols required by the park operators to ensure the health and safety of both the employees and guests.

Previously, Supervisor Barger issued a support letter to the bill’s authors in which she emphasized the importance of beginning the process of slowly reopening. “With full outdoor operations and the ability to maintain physical distancing, theme parks across the country have proven that they can safely reopen,” said Supervisor Barger in her letter. “Large theme parks nationwide began reopening last summer and there has not yet been any outbreaks or spread from these establishments.”

Enabling a safe path to reopening will also support the significant job losses suffered by this industry. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation cites that the amusement, gambling, and recreation sector has experienced the highest percentage of job losses in Los Angeles County with more than 98 percent of jobs lost since March of last year. Most of those impacted are low-income workers with an average salary of $32,000 per year.