L.A. County Has Reached the Yellow Tier and More Reopenings Are Set for Thursday

Coronavirus cases have dropped low enough to move to the state’s least-restrictive tier

UPDATE: MAY 4, 2021 – Los Angeles County has qualified to advance to the Yellow Tier of the state’s reopening framework. A new public health order is expected to be published on Wednesday to go into effect on Thursday.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters at a briefing that the county would “be aligning fairly significantly with the direction the state is moving,” but left open the possibility that the county’s new health order might have some small variations from the statewide Yellow Tier standards.

“We still have to protect our workers,” she noted. “We still have to protect children.”

Even as the recovery marches forward, officials expressed concern that demand for vaccinations has slowed, suggesting a significant portion of eligible adults in the county are either choosing not to be vaccinated or are having difficulty arranging appointments.

“Getting vaccinated in L.A. County is easier and more accessible than ever before and we encourage everyone waiting to get vaccinated to take advantage of the opportunity as soon as possible,” Ferrer said. “There continues to be a much higher risk of COVID-19 transmission among unvaccinated people.”

APRIL 27, 2021 – The rate of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County has now dropped to just 1.9 new cases per day per 100,000 residents–a number low enough to meet the standard for the Yellow Tier, the least-restrictive level of the state’s reopening plan. If that number holds or decreases next week, the county will be eligible to advance.

In the Yellow Tier, most categories of businesses can operate in at least some capacity, including indoor bars, larger gatherings, and other updates. Yellow is the final color-coded status in the state’s “roadmap to recovery,” and, based on current procedures, a county would likely stay at that level until June 15, the expected “full reopening” date.

Here’s what changes when a county enters Yellow Tier:

  • Bars that do not serve food can open indoor operations, allowing up to 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Outdoor gatherings can have up to 100 guests, even without a testing/vaccination requirement. Indoor events, while still discouraged, may have up to 50 percent of venue capacity or 50 individuals, whichever is fewer.
  • Organized events such as meetings and conferences which require tickets and a defined guest list can have up to 200 people outdoors without universal testing/vaccination or 400 with. Indoor events can have up to 200, if all participants show proof of test/vaccine.
  • Outdoor live events with assigned seats like sports and concerts can raise capacity caps to 67 percent, but can only be open to California residents.
  • Theaters, concerts, and other indoor, seated events and performances can take place, but all attendees must live in California. Tickets must be sold online in advance, and food and drink can only be consumed in designated areas.  For venues with capacities under 1,500, the Yellow Tier capacity is 25 percent without universal testing/vaccination or 50 percent with. Venues with a normal capacity greater than 1,500 will be capped at 10 percent or 2,000 people, whichever is fewer, without testing/vaccination, or 50 percent with.
  • Museums and aquariums can lift indoor capacity caps.
  • Movie theaters and restaurants can fill up to 50 percent of indoor seats even if that number is greater than 200 individuals.
  • Hotels can increase capacity at indoor fitness centers to 50 percent and open spa facilities.
  • Wineries, breweries, and distilleries can increase indoor capacity to 50 percent or 200 individuals.
  • Family entertainment centers can raise capacity to 50 percent without universal testing/vaccination, or 75 percent with.
  • Offices may open indoor operations with modifications, but telework is still recommended.
  • Amusement parks and fairs may increase capacity to 35 percent overall, though must stay at 25 percent for indoor attractions.
  • Indoor arcades and play areas such as ball pits and laser tag arenas may also reopen, up to 25 percent capacity.

RELATED: California Likely to ‘Fully Reopen’ in June, Gov. Newsom Announces

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