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Morning Brief: Welcome To The Orange Tier, TikTok For Mental Health, And Black Lives Matter Imagery Gains Recognition

Food trucks parked in the parking lot of the Lakewood Center Mall on a Friday evening. Chava Sanchez/LAist
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Good morning, L.A. It’s April 5.

As we reported last week, today marks the first day that L.A. County businesses, restaurants and public spaces can expand operations under the orange tier of reopening.

The move allows for higher capacity limits at businesses, churches, gyms and restaurants. Bars can begin outdoor service again, with a 90-minute limit on customer stays and no counter service.

With coronavirus case numbers plummeting and vaccinations steadily increasing, L.A. passed from the purple tier (the most restrictive) and through the red tier (the second most restrictive) in only two weeks. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate is now 1.4%, down from around 20% in January. Deaths and hospitalizations are significantly down as well.

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Notably, California health officials announced that indoor concerts and performances can start back up on April 15, although they are still urging caution. Ticketholders will need to have proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

It’s not clear whether L.A. County will adopt these guidelines.

"There's still some outstanding questions or clarifications that we're waiting to hear from [county supervisors] as well," county health officer Dr. Muntu Davis said on Friday. "We want to get the final details to see exactly what's being required."

Meanwhile, the state has released updated guidelines on what can reopen, and in what capacity, under the orange tier. The list is highly detailed, with information on businesses ranging from appliance repair shops to body waxing studios to swap meets. If you have a question about a specific business, check here.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

The Morning Brief newsletter is sent mornings Monday through Friday. Subscribe here.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Fewer than 20% of COVID-19 vaccines administered in California have gone to Latinos, with even fewer going to people who are undocumented.
  • The federal government may house unaccompanied migrant children on an Army National Guard base in California.
  • Many teens who have suffered emotionally during the pandemic are turning to social media apps such as Twitter and TikTok in search of support and community.
  • The L.A. County library system will reopen 30 of its 85 locations at 50% capacity for some in-person services later this month.
  • Work begins today on a new roof for the San Gabriel Mission, which was damaged by a fire last year.

Before You Go … Black Lives Matter LA Protest Images Recognized By Smithsonian Magazine

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A Black Lives Matter protest. (Matt Stasi)

A West L.A. photographer is among the winners of the prestigious Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest, for photos he took documenting the Black Lives Matter protests across L.A. in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

Matt Stasi said he could feel the urgency of the community coming through the lens as he captured the images on the streets last summer.

"Everyone wanted justice for what was going on, what is going on," he said. "It was just powerful to see everyone coming together — that was the one thing that really really stood out."

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