The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health anticipates qualifying for less restrictive red tier that allows for additional re-openings between Monday at 12:01 a.m. and Wednesday. The exact date depends on when 2 million doses have been administered to people in the most under-resourced communities across the state.
L.A. County’s adjusted case rate dropped from 7.2 new cases per 100,000 people to 5.2 new cases per 100,000 people Wednesday. The test positivity rate dropped from 3.5% to 2.5%, and in areas with the fewest health affirming resources, L.A. County has a test positivity rate of 3.6%.
Last week, the state made adjustments to reopening guidelines that allows counties to move to the red tier if their case rate is below 10 new cases per 100,000 residents once 2 million doses of vaccine have been administered to residents across the state living in the least resourced communities. Once this vaccination threshold is met L.A. County will qualify to move into the red tier since the county will have already had an adjusted case rate of under 10 new cases per 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks.
The state is reporting over 1.9 million vaccines have been administered to date to residents in under-resourced communities.
The county is principally aligned with the state’s reopening framework for the red tier, with mandatory masking, distancing and infection control practices for every business and permitted activity. Additional safety modifications are required or recommended for certain sectors.
Newly permitted activities and modified safety protocols in the red tier will include the following:
- Museum, zoos and aquariums can open indoors at 25% capacity.
- Gyms, fitness centers, yoga and dance studios can open indoors at 10% capacity with masking requirement for all indoor activities.
- Movie theatres can open indoors at 25% capacity with reserved seating only where each group is seated with at least 6 feet of distance in all directions between any other groups.
- Retail and personal care services can increase capacity to 50% with masking required at all times and for all services.
- Restaurants can open indoors at 25% max capacity under the following conditions: 8 feet distancing between tables; one household per table with a limit of six people; the HVAC system is in good working order and has been evaluated, and to the maximum extent possible ventilation has been increased. Public Health strongly recommends that all restaurant employees interacting with customers indoors are provided with additional masking protection (above the currently required face shield over face masks); this can be fit tested N95 masks, KN95 masks, or double masks and a face shield. In addition, Public Health strongly recommends that all employees working indoors are informed about and offered opportunities to be vaccinated. Outdoor dining can accommodate up to six people per table from three different households.
- Indoor shopping malls can increase capacity to 50% with common areas remaining closed; food courts can open at 25% capacity adhering to the restaurant guidance for indoor dining.
- Institutes of higher education can re-open all permitted activities with required safety modifications except for residential housing which remains under current restrictions for the Spring semester.
- Schools are permitted to re-open for in-person instruction for students in seventh through 12th grades adhering to all state and county directives.
- Private gatherings can occur indoors with up to three separate households, with masking and distancing required at all times. People who are fully vaccinated can gather in small numbers indoors with other people who are fully vaccinated without required masking and distancing.
“We plan to move into the red tier very soon, and that allows for more re-openings and permitted activities in L.A. County. This milestone is the result of businesses and individuals working together and doing their part to prevent COVID-19 from spreading,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “It will be up to everyone, businesses and residents, to continue driving down transmission and to follow safety directives closely to keep everyone as safe as possible by preventing increases in cases. When even relatively small numbers of businesses and individuals fail to adhere to the safety precautions, many others experience tragic consequences.”