What will life look like when stay-at-home orders are lifted?

As President Trump tells governors to “call your own shots” in easing social distancing restrictions, local officials are already thinking about how to loosen stay-at-home orders.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that people will still be wearing masks. School schedules might need to be staggered. Restaurants might need to be redesigned to allow for social distancing. Mass gatherings such as concerts and sporting events might have to wait a long time to come back.

In Los Angeles County, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said certain strategies need to be in place before the county lifts its health order, “later on in the month of May, in most likelihood.”

“What we’re going to be working on as part of our recovery is figuring out how we can, in fact, get more people back to work,” she said.

One thing is clear: L.A. restaurants are already at work trying to figure out how to safely reopen.

L.A. County coronavirus deaths hit a new one-day high.

In a new one-day high, L.A. county reported 55 additional coronavirus-linked deaths Thursday, marking the third straight day the county has seen a record number of deaths — bringing the county’s total to 455.

Of the latest victims, 43 were older than 65, and 39 of those had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.

Nine were between 41 and 65, and all had underlying health conditions, she added. In total, Ferrer said, 88% of those who have died as a result of COVID-19 had other health problems.

The latest numbers

What we’re all wondering

How long is an infected person contagious before they show symptoms?

People infected with the new coronavirus are likely spreading it for close to 2½ days before their first signs of illness appear, according to a scientific study.

The study found that an infected person is most contagious about 18 hours before feeling the first blush of fever, body aches, or bouts of coughing. That means an infected person can walk around feeling fine for more than two full days while spreading the virus into the air, putting it onto doorknobs and handrails, and leaving the germs for future infections.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, present a new challenge as people contemplate a return to pre-pandemic life, with people at work and children in schools.

The thermometers and symptoms questionnaires at business and work entrances won’t help in this time frame. The infected person will feel well enough to go about their regular activities. And unless they are wearing masks, they could be blowing the virus in your direction.

This means testing for the virus would have to become extremely prevalent — a goal that the United States is far from reaching.