COVID-19: L.A. County close to moving to next tier


As COVID-19 figures continue to decline across Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health officials announced Tuesday the county is inching closer to reaching a less restrictive tier on the state’s metrics. 

California Department of Public Health officials announced Tuesday that seven counties were moving from the purple tier to the second most restrictive red tier, and while L.A. County was not one of the seven, if its metrics continue their steady decline, the county could be given the green light to move to the “red” tier in a matter of weeks, according to the state’s metrics. 

Though L.A. County’s seven-day average test positivity rate is 3.5%, which meets the qualifications for the less restrictive tier, its seven-day average case rate is above the threshold at 9.7 per 100,000 residents per day, and its adjusted case rate is 7.2 per 100,000, which is adjusted depending on the county’s testing volume, according to the state data released Tuesday and based on results from the week ending Feb. 20. 

If L.A. County’s adjusted case rate drops to seven per 100,000 next week, the county must remain below that mark for two consecutive weeks before it can move to the red tier, which would make the county eligible for additional reopening, per the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. 

Counties with a “substantial” spread of the virus fall under the red tier, with a seven-day average of anywhere between four to seven new cases per 100,000 residents per day, and a testing positivity rate of 5%-8%.  

Under this tier, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums can reopen indoors, at 25% capacity or 100 people — whichever is fewer — while gyms can reopen indoors at 10% capacity. 

In addition, counties are permitted to increase capacities for businesses in sectors that are allowed to open for indoor services, such as retail stores and shopping malls with an increased capacity of 50%.  

This tier would also strongly discourage, but allow indoor gatherings, with a maximum of three households. 

It should be noted that local governments and public health departments can implement stricter orders than what California imposes, and that counties can and have returned to a more stringent tier when their metrics have worsened for two straight weeks.  

For more information on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, visit   

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