Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 metrics could allow the county to move into the least restrictive, yellow tier next week, according to California Department of Public Health’s updated metrics released Tuesday.
The county’s test positivity rate is at 0.9%, and while the county’s average case rate is 3.9 per 100,000 residents per day, its adjusted case rate is 1.9 per 100,000, based on results from the week ending April 17.
While these metrics meet the qualifications for the yellow tier, in order to move to this less restrictive tier, the county must maintain these figures for an additional week, with additional reopenings possible as early as May 5.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced eased guidelines on mask-wearing for fully vaccinated Americans.
The new guidance allows fully vaccinated people to unmask while participating in outdoor activities and recreation or at small outdoor gatherings, except in certain crowded settings and venues. Unvaccinated people must continue wearing a mask during these instances, per CDC guidance.
In addition, fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated without masks or physical distancing, or with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19.
However, everyone, including fully vaccinated people, should continue to wear masks at indoor public spaces, as well as when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 or from multiple households, or while in crowds where 6 feet of distance from other persons is not possible, such as at large events and gatherings.
Following this announcement, both California and L.A. County officials confirmed they’d be adjusting their guidelines to align with the CDC’s new masking recommendations.
“While these changes are appropriate and science-based, they can create unintended risk if individuals not yet fully vaccinated discontinue wearing their masks in situations where they may become infected,” read L.A. County Public Health’s Tuesday statement. “Given the continued threat of variants, masking and distancing are essential protections for those not yet vaccinated. The only safe way for us to enjoy more activities without masking and distancing is for everyone eligible to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can.”
In addition, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital announced it would now be taking walk-in COVID-19 vaccination appointments at its vaccine clinic.
Anyone 16 and older can get vaccinated without booking an appointment with a photo ID and accompanied by a parent or guardian if under 18.
Henry Mayo’s vaccine clinic, located at 23803 McBean Parkway, is open 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit henrymayo.com/community/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine.
County Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Tuesday:
New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 326
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,232,079
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 26
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 23,801
Hospitalizations countywide: 411; 25% of whom are in the ICU.
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of April 26: 5, with 1,221 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 12, 8 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 27,610
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of April 26: 299
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of April 18: 48.6%
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of April 18: 46.5%