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Morning Brief: Raising A Glass IRL, New Bail Rules, And Changing The Christian Music Game

A metro station entrance at sunset. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 31.

No sooner did L.A. County enter the red tier, then on we move to the even less restrictive orange tier. Public health officials announced yesterday that local coronavirus numbers now meet requirements to open more businesses, and allow more (safe!) socializing.

Among the changes that L.A. could see as soon as next week are:

  • Restaurants could expand indoor dining to 50% capacity
  • Wineries could offer indoor service at 25%
  • Bars that don't serve food could reopen outdoors
  • Unlimited capacity for shoppers at retail stores
  • Churches, movie theaters, museums, zoos, and aquariums could expand attendance to 50% capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centers could expand to 25% capacity

Yesterday’s announcement came after L.A. spent only two weeks in the red tier. Under that change, many businesses could reopen at 25% capacity, including indoor dining at restaurants. Bars that don’t serve food weren’t allowed to welcome guests back.

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That would change in the orange tier.

But some business owners aren’t quite ready to throw their doors open. "We will definitely be probably one of the last restaurants in L.A. city to open up for indoor dining," Celia Ward-Wallace, co-founder of South LA Cafe, recently told my colleague Elina Shatkin.

In order to qualify for the orange tier, counties in California must have a seven-day average of no more than one to 3.9 new cases per 100,000 residents, and a seven-day average positivity rate of 2% to 4.9%.

On Monday — the most recent day for which data is available — local public health officials reported a daily test positivity rate of 1.4%, 378 new cases of COVID-19, and seven new deaths (the low numbers may have been the result of weekend reporting delays).

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

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What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go … This Queer Christian Musician Is Raising Holy Hell

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Grace Baldridge, who records under the name Semler, plays guitar on their West Hollywood porch. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Grace Baldridge is a queer, gender non-conforming musician based in L.A., and their EP, Preacher's Kid, is making waves in an unusual place: the Christian music scene.

Comprised of acoustic folk songs that mine the rocky territory where personal faith and organized religion overlap, Preacher’s Kid placed number #1 on the iTunes Christian Album charts two days in a row, beating out top-performing artists. Now, this niche within a niche looks like an emerging genre.

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