The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health anticipates qualifying for the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy less restrictive red tier that allows for additional re-openings between Monday, March 15 at 12:01am and Wednesday, March 17. The exact date depends on when 2 million doses have been administered to people in the most under-resourced communities across the state.
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 6 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 3 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 grades 7-12 adhering to all state and county directives.
- Private gatherings can occur indoors with up to 3 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.
Thursday, Public Health has confirmed 101 new deaths and 1,378 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 1,208,024 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 22,304 deaths.
Of the 101 new deaths reported Thursday, 27 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 47 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 21 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and two deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
“To the families and friends mourning the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “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. 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.”
Public Health continues to track outbreaks at worksites and continues to assist sectors with required business protocol compliance and safety measures. The number of outbreak investigations continues to decline. There are currently 488 ongoing outbreak investigations; this is a significant reduction from the 1,187 outbreak investigations reported on February 11.
There are 1,056 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 30% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for nearly 5,927,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. The daily test positivity rate as of Thursday was 2.1%.
For information about vaccine appointments in L.A. County and when your turn is coming up, to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
County Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional actions you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.