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LA County Could Enter New Phase Of Reopenings As Soon As This Weekend. Here's What We Know.

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A server wearing a mask and face shield takes orders from customers at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. (Robyn Beck / AFP)
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The COVID-19 case rate in L.A. County continues to drop, and data released today shows that number is now low enough to qualify the county for the less restrictive red tier on the state's coronavirus monitoring system.

That would allow more businesses to reopen and indoor dining to resume.

But when the county can actually leave the most restrictive purple tier depends on how soon the state can meet its threshold of two million vaccine doses administered in communities hardest hit by the virus.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told county supervisors today that she thinks the state is going to hit that goal within the next few days. That means L.A. County could be in the red tier by this weekend:

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"Our understanding is that within 48 hours of the state announcing the vaccine trigger has been met, L.A. County, along with other counties with qualifying case rates, would move into the red tier."

But this isn't our first reopening rodeo, and Ferrer urged caution:
"We've been here before. We've been here with reopenings, we've seen what happens around holidays if we're not really careful. I try to think of it as, we've gotta keep everyone alive right now so they can get vaccinated and stay alive."

Counties in the red tier can allow indoor dining to resume and movie theaters and indoor museums to open at 25% capacity. Schools could also allow in-person learning for middle and high school students.

But again, it still remains unclear exaclty when the county would allow those reopenings.

Here's what would change if/when L.A. County does move into the red tier:

  • Indoor retail would be allowed at 50% capacity (it's now capped at 25% in the purple tier)
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums could open indoor spaces at 25% capacity
  • Movie theaters would be allowed to open for indoor seating at 25% capacity
  • Hotels could open fitness centers (at 10% capacity)
  • Gyms, fitness centers and climbing facilties could open for indoor service at 10% capacity
  • Restaurants could open indoor dining at 25% capacity

For more info about restrictions in each of the state's reopening tiers, take a scroll through this handy PDF.

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