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LA County qualifies for yellow tier, loosened COVID-19 restrictions to come Thursday

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LA County will post its updated health order Wednesday, which could be more restrictive than what the state allows, though Ferrer has signaled the county will largely align with state guidance.

UPDATED:
LA Daily News

Los Angeles County is set to further loosen its coronavirus restrictions later this week.

The county is the first in Southern California to meet the requirements to move into the state’s least-restrictive yellow tier for coronavirus management, according to state data released Tuesday, May 4. The change will go into effect Wednesday, though LA County’s Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said relaxed restrictions will not be implemented until the following day.

LA County will post its updated health order Wednesday, which could be more restrictive than what the state allows, though Ferrer has signaled the county will largely align with state guidance.

Some of the changes the state allows for counties in the yellow tier include:

  • Fitness centers, cardrooms, wineries and breweries can increase indoor attendance to 50% of capacity, up from 25% in the orange tier;
  • Bars can open indoors at 25% capacity;
  • Amusement parks can allow 35% occupancy, up from 25%; and
  • Outdoor venues such as Dodger Stadium can, without proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from guests, increase capacity to 67%. (In the orange tier, venues can fill up to 67% capacity with those restrictions on guests; otherwise, occupancy is limited to 33%.)

The change in tiers was triggered because metrics tracking the spread of the coronavirus in LA County have continued to fall. The state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which put the tiered system in place, allows counties to move into the least restrictive tier once their new daily case rate falls below 2 per 100,000 people, their overall positive testing rate is under 2% and their positive testing rate for underserved communities is less than 2.2% — and the numbers remain below those thresholds for two consecutive weeks.

“Week after week, these numbers prove that the hard work we are doing in our community to protect one another is allowing us to return to the activities that we cherish,” Ferrer said Tuesday, addressing the LA County Board of Supervisors. “I’m grateful to live in this county where so many are doing their part to get us to this point and share in the recovery.”

State data, which is released every Tuesday, showed that LA County first met those requirements last week. And this week’s release — in which the county’s new daily case rate was 1.6 per 100,000 people, its overall positive testing rate was 0.7%, and its positive testing rate in underserved communities was 0.8% — confirmed LA County fell below the yellow tier thresholds for two consecutive weeks.

While moving into the yellow tier means LA County is one of only seven counties with the fewest required restrictions, it does not mean the county can fully reopen to pre-pandemic capacity levels. That can only happen when the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is no longer in place, which Gov. Gavin Newsom has said will happen June 15.

Until then, LA County’s capacity regulations — along with occupancy constraints in every other county in the state — must remain in place.

“This new tier matches the sunny optimism of the season,” the LA County Board of Supervisors said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “Now it’s up to all of us to keep up the good work.

“It’s never been easier to get vaccinated, and that is the single most important action you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” the statement said. “Continuing to make smart choices now moves us closer to fully enjoying all the wonderful things that Los Angeles County has to offer.”

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Los Angeles County is set to further loosen its coronavirus restrictions later this week.

The county is the first in Southern California to meet the requirements to move into the state’s least-restrictive yellow tier for coronavirus management, according to state data released Tuesday, May 4. The change will go into effect Wednesday, though LA County’s Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said relaxed restrictions will not be implemented until the following day.

LA County will post its updated health order Wednesday, which could be more restrictive than what the state allows, though Ferrer has signaled the county will largely align with state guidance.

Some of the changes the state allows for counties in the yellow tier include:

  • Fitness centers, cardrooms, wineries and breweries can increase indoor attendance to 50% of capacity, up from 25% in the orange tier;
  • Bars can open indoors at 25% capacity;
  • Amusement parks can allow 35% occupancy, up from 25%; and
  • Outdoor venues such as Dodger Stadium can, without proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from guests, increase capacity to 67%. (In the orange tier, venues can fill up to 67% capacity with those restrictions on guests; otherwise, occupancy is limited to 33%.)

The change in tiers was triggered because metrics tracking the spread of the coronavirus in LA County have continued to fall. The state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which put the tiered system in place, allows counties to move into the least restrictive tier once their new daily case rate falls below 2 per 100,000 people, their overall positive testing rate is under 2% and their positive testing rate for underserved communities is less than 2.2% — and the numbers remain below those thresholds for two consecutive weeks.

“Week after week, these numbers prove that the hard work we are doing in our community to protect one another is allowing us to return to the activities that we cherish,” Ferrer said Tuesday, addressing the LA County Board of Supervisors. “I’m grateful to live in this county where so many are doing their part to get us to this point and share in the recovery.”

State data, which is released every Tuesday, showed that LA County first met those requirements last week. And this week’s release — in which the county’s new daily case rate was 1.6 per 100,000 people, its overall positive testing rate was 0.7%, and its positive testing rate in underserved communities was 0.8% — confirmed LA County fell below the yellow tier thresholds for two consecutive weeks.

While moving into the yellow tier means LA County is one of only seven counties with the fewest required restrictions, it does not mean the county can fully reopen to pre-pandemic capacity levels. That can only happen when the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is no longer in place, which Gov. Gavin Newsom has said will happen June 15.

Until then, LA County’s capacity regulations — along with occupancy constraints in every other county in the state — must remain in place.

“This new tier matches the sunny optimism of the season,” the LA County Board of Supervisors said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “Now it’s up to all of us to keep up the good work.

“It’s never been easier to get vaccinated, and that is the single most important action you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” the statement said. “Continuing to make smart choices now moves us closer to fully enjoying all the wonderful things that Los Angeles County has to offer.”

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