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Morning Brief: What The Red Tier Means, An Explosion In Ontario, And Revisiting ‘The Office’

A street food vendor parked along Central Avenue selling fresh fruits and veggies. (Chava Sanchez)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 17.

As we’ve reported, L.A. County entered the less restrictive red tier for reopening this week. While it’s exciting, it’s also confusing — especially given the less-than-ideal job that local government has done with letting us know what we can and can’t do during the pandemic.

With that in mind, my colleague Lisa Brenner created an in-depth guide about what’s open now, how open it is, and what the rules, restrictions and guidelines are around each industry and operation.

“If everything feels confusing and exhausting, that's because it is — but this guide isn't,” she says. “We translated some of the lengthy official-speak into snappy human words, and it's streamlined to take you to the newest rules, direct from the county."

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Most businesses can reopen at between 10% and 50% capacity. The 10% limit is reserved largely for places where people will be sweating and moving around a lot, like gyms, and dance and yoga studios. Places where, on the flip side, people will be moving much less or even sitting still — such as malls and personal care services — can reopen at 50%.

Wineries and breweries have the most restrictions (because alcohol), and as with some previous guidelines, one can’t help but wonder how some of these rules are going to be enforced:

  • Reservations required
  • Visits are 90 minutes max
  • Alcohol consumption ends at 8 p.m.
  • Tables 8 feet apart
  • 6 people max per table
  • Table occupants can be from 3 households

Nevertheless, we’re looking forward to enjoying some of the newly permitted activities. Just remember that you still have to mask up and socially distance — we haven’t come this far only to surge again.

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.

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What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go … Looking Back At The Cringey Joy Of ‘The Office’

(L-R) Actors Rainn Wilson, Steve Carell, and Jenna Fischer speak during the NBC executive question and answer segment of the Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Jan. 22, 2006 in Pasadena. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images, Edited by Chava Sanchez for LAist)
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Starting in 2005, The Office gave us an inside look at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, and introduced us to the signature Jim Halpert look-to-the-camera. A cringe-y boss, a drab corporate setting, and a workplace full of quirky co-workers made for a compelling and way-too-relatable half-hour.

On April 13 at 6:30 p.m., grab your World's Best Boss mug and join LAist's Mike Roe and special guests for the next edition of TV Pilot Club, in which we look back at all the camera confessionals, love triangles, and eye-roll-inducing moments that made The Office a hit. RSVP here.

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