As Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 metrics continue their decline, the county is on track for the widest set of reopenings yet next week with its potential move into the least restrictive, yellow tier.
County Department of Public Health officials have said if the county maintains current figures for an additional week, the county would move into the yellow tier as early as Wednesday, with a revised health officer order set to go into effect Thursday, May 6.
Under this tier, capacity restrictions are expected to be lifted for more businesses, such as museums, zoos and aquariums, while other modifications include:
- Restaurants and movie theaters still must limit capacity to 50%, but no longer need to limit to 200 people.
- Gyms and fitness centers can increase capacity from 25% to 50% and reopen saunas, spas and steam rooms. Capacity may increase to 75% if all guests show proof of a negative test or full vaccination.
- Wineries, breweries and distilleries can increase indoor capacity from 25% to 50% or 200 people (whichever is fewer).
- Bars can resume indoor operations with 25% capacity or 100 people (whichever is fewer).
- Family entertainment centers can increase capacity from 25% to 50% and can reopen arcade games, ice and roller skating areas, and indoor playgrounds, with modifications.
- Card rooms and satellite wagering sites can increase from 25% to 50% capacity.
- Outdoor live events, such as live performances and sporting events, can increase capacity to 67% from 33%.
- Indoor live events for venues with 1,500 maximum capacity can increase capacity from 15% to 25% or 300 people (whichever is fewer), while capacities for venues with seating for more than 1,500 does not change from 10% or 2,000 people.
- Amusement parks can increase maximum capacity to 35% from 25%, with walk-up ticket sales allowed.
Business sectors with 50% capacities may increase that to 75% if all guests show proof of a negative test or full vaccination.
The state also revised its guidelines for water parks Wednesday, allowing them to reopen at 25% outdoor capacity in the orange tier, which can then increase to 40% in yellow.
While county Department of Public Health officials said they would be working with the Board of Supervisors and sector partners to prepare for the possible move to yellow, it’s unclear whether they plan to align the county public health order entirely with the state’s updated guidelines, as local governments and public health departments can implement stricter orders than what California imposes.
The move to yellow would come only about a month ahead of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to fully reopen by June 15, if the state’s vaccine and hospitalization numbers remain stable.
Newsom plans to eliminate the state’s four-tiered system, allowing the entire state to reopen at the same time and “everyday activities” to resume, with all sectors able to return to usual operations in compliance with requirements of Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety agency, and with the public health policies in place, such as required masking, testing and encouraging vaccinations.
Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Thursday:
New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 416
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,232,727
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 42
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 23,872
Hospitalizations countywide: 410; 26% 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: 3, 1 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 27,615
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of April 28: 303
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%