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LA County Enters Yellow Tier, The Biggest Reopening Yet

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Customers at the bar at Pura Vita restaurant in West Hollywood.
(Courtesy of Pura Vita)
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It's official: Los Angeles County is now eligible to advance into the state's least restrictive reopening tier.

The move to the yellow tier was confirmed this morning by California health officials, though the threshold to meet that phase was relaxed a few months ago.

Counties originally had to post an adjusted case rate of one case for every 100,000 residents.

Now, that benchmark is two new cases for every 100,000 people, which L.A. County has met, and maintained, in recent weeks. BTW, counties must hit metrics in these three areas to advance: case rate, positivity rate and health equity metric

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It's a big step, but don't expect any major changes right away.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told us the move into yellow mostly means that many businesses that have already reopened can expand their indoor capacity — and one sector can welcome back customers for the first time since the summer:

"The only place where there's a significant difference is, bars will be able to provide indoor service with a limit on their capacity, at 25%. So, a small number of people will be able to be served indoors at bars, it's really at 25%, no more. But that, for some places, will be a very big difference."

And, as always with each move into a new tier, L.A. County has the option to impose stricter limitations than the state's guidelines.

Officials are expected to come out with county-specific rules sometime tomorrow, which will go into effect on Thursday.

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Unlike the rest of L.A. County, the city of Pasadena is transitioning to the yellow tier tomorrow. Pasadena has its own health department and usually makes decisions separate from the L.A. County's health department.

Producer Pablo Cabrera contributed reporting.

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