Los Angeles County has officially qualified for a move to the least-restrictive yellow tier of the state economic-reopening blueprint, meaning capacity limits will be increased at many businesses and bars will be permitted to reopen indoors.
Statistics released by the state at mid-week showed the county’s rate of daily new COVID-19 infections had fallen to 1.6 per 100,000 residents, down from 1.9 last week. Reaching the yellow tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy requires a county to have a new-case rate less than two per 100,000 residents, and maintain that level for two consecutive weeks.
Los Angeles is the only Southern California city to advance to the yellow tier. The rest of the region will remain in the orange tier.
Entering the yellow tier will primarily allow higher capacity limits at most businesses. Under state guidelines, fitness centers, cardrooms, wineries and breweries, for instance, could increase indoor attendance to 50 percent of capacity, up from the current 25 percent; bars could open indoors at 25 percent; outdoor venues such as Dodger Stadium could increase capacity to 67 percent, up from the current 33 percent; and amusement parks could allow 35 percent, up from 25 percent.
Speaking to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that despite the easing restrictions, residents will need to continue adhering to basic infection-control measures. She noted that the eased restrictions “will still require safety modifications, including masking, distancing and infection control to keep reducing the risk of transmission.”
“These standard public health practices remain essential until we have many more individuals vaccinated,” she said.
Health officials have previously indicated that the county needs to get to an 80-percent vaccination rate to reach so-called “herd immunity.” As of April 28, nearly 59 percent of county residents had been vaccinated.
Ferrer has said she is less focused on that 80-percent figure as she is about getting accurate information out about the effectiveness of the vaccines and making it easier for people to get them.