Friday, the State announced 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to people in the most under-resourced communities across the state which now allows L.A. County to move to the less restrictive red tier.
The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order has been updated to closely align with the State’s re-opening framework and reflect the changes allowed in the red tier. Additional safety modifications are required or recommended for certain sectors. The changes go into effect on Monday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m.
The modifications to the Health Officer Order 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.
Businesses must implement all the requirements in the sector specific Public Health protocols. It is critical that directives and infection protocols are followed to minimize COVID-19 spread as much as possible. The comprehensive protocols for all sectors that reopen will be posted online.
Friday, Public Health has confirmed 101 new deaths and 947 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 1,208,913 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 22,404 deaths.
There are 1,015 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 5,937,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Friday’s daily test positivity rate was 2.0%.
Of the 101 new deaths reported Friday, 30 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 31 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 12 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, 11 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, and two people who died were between the ages of 18 and 29. Ten deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and five deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who lost someone they cared about to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As certain activities are allowed to resume, we urge all residents to proceed with caution. COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to fall, but still remain at substantial levels. Vaccinations are occurring as quickly as supplies allow, but most people in our community are still not vaccinated. New variants of the virus that may spread more easily or cause more severe illness are present in our county; however, their impact on our local pandemic is largely unknown. If we continue to do everything we can to reduce transmission, we are confident that our public health measures also protect against spreading the variants.”
To date, nearly 2,742,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the county. Of those vaccinated, 899,527 people have received second doses. Next week, Public Health is expecting to receive 260,000 doses of vaccine, approximately 60,000 less than we received this week. The vaccine supply next week once again falls far short of the more than 600,000 doses that our provider network is currently capable of delivering. Public Health will not receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, or the following week. We expect to begin receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again at the end of the month.
The County continues to expand mobile vaccination services to better meet the needs of those in underserved communities. This coming week, County mobile teams will go out to 79 senior housing and senior services locations to provide vaccinations, approximately double the number of sites reached this week.
Custodians and janitors, public transit workers, and airport ground crew workers are all now eligible to be vaccinated. Emergency service workers including social workers who handle cases of violence, abuse or neglect and foster parents providing emergency housing for young people, are also eligible to be vaccinated.
In addition to the residents and workers already eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, next week, on Monday, March 15, vaccine eligibility will open up to residents between the ages 16 through 64 who have underlying health conditions or disabilities that put them at the highest risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19. Providers and healthcare facilities are working to use their health record systems to identify patients who have these conditions and reach out to them so they can be vaccinated.
While the County is pleased to get started in vaccinating these high-risk groups, vaccine remains in very limited supply. 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.