LA County Could Qualify For Yellow Tier Tuesday, Allowing Bars To Reopen Indoor Operations – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County could qualify to move into the yellow and least-restrictive tier of California’s coronavirus reopening blueprint Tuesday.

General view of La Condesa Restaurant on April 22, 2021 in Santa Monica, Calif. (Getty Images)

Last week, L.A. County’s adjusted average daily coronavirus case rate fell to 1.9 people per 100,000 residents.

To qualify for the yellow tier, a county must have less than 2.0 cases per 100,000 residents, and it must maintain that for two weeks.

L.A. County must also have an average test positivity rate for the past seven days of under 2.0%. L.A. County’s test positivity rate currently stands at 0.9%.

If L.A. County’s daily coronavirus case rate remains below 2.0 when new state-adjusted figures are released Tuesday, the county will officially advance to the yellow tier on Wednesday, although the relaxed restrictions would not take effect until Thursday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday.

Entering the yellow tier will allow bars to reopen indoors at 25%. It would be the first time that bars have reopened indoors since early July of 2020.

Fitness centers, cardrooms, wineries and breweries will be allowed to increase indoor capacity to 50%.

Outdoor sporting venues, such as Dodger Stadium, can increase capacity to 67%. Amusement parks, such as Universal Studios, can increase capacity from 25% to 35%.

The county on Monday announced zero COVID-19 deaths for the second day in a row, although the numbers are likely due to weekend reporting lag. L.A. County’s COVID-19 death toll from throughout the pandemic remained at 23,914.

The county reported 255 new COVID cases on Monday, lifting the overall number to 1,233,985.

L.A. County health officials are seriously concerned about a decline in vaccination rates, however. Ferrer provided figures Monday showing that for the week ending April 23, 611,592 doses were administered in the county. Last week, however, only 467,134 doses were administered, representing a 24% drop.

She said that roughly 37% of L.A. County’s population is now considered fully vaccinated. Health officials have said the county needs to get to an 80% vaccination rate to reach so-called “herd immunity.”

Ferrer said she is less focused on that 80% figure as she is about getting accurate information out about the effectiveness of the vaccines and making it easier for people to get them.

“I’m not as much worried about what’s the number for herd immunity, and do we get there and what that concept really needs to mean, as I am about we’ve got a powerful vaccine, we’re hopeful that more and more people will continue to come and get vaccinated and (we) want to make that as easy as possible.”

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)