LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County’s weeks-long decline in new COVID-19 case rates stalled Tuesday, confirming the county won’t advance to the less-restrictive yellow tier of the state’s reopening blueprint for at least three weeks.
As of Tuesday, L.A. County’s seven-day average daily rate of new COVID-19 cases was at 3.1 per 100,000 residents, the same level as last week.
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Antonia Esparza performs a temperature check on people arriving for their single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccine rollout targetting immigrants and the undocumented organized by the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labour and Immigrant rights groups on March 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
The unchanged number leaves the county in the orange tier of the state’s system, which governs business and recreational restrictions during the pandemic.
The county officially entered the orange tier last week but restrictions didn’t go into effect until Monday morning.
Originally, counties had to have an average daily new case rate of less than 1 per 100,000 residents to qualify for the yellow tier. On Tuesday, that threshold was eased to less than 2 per 100,000 residents because the state reached 4 million COVID vaccinations administered in low-income communities.
At 3.1 new cases per 100,000 residents, L.A. County remains short of meeting the yellow tier level.
On Monday, County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she did not expect the county to reach the yellow-tier level this week.
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She also said she anticipated a leveling off of the county’s rate of new cases, despite several weeks of significant drops, telling the board the metrics likely “will not change significantly this week or next.”
Because the county must meet yellow tier metrics for two consecutive weeks, the earliest L.A. County could move would be three, maybe four weeks out.
Ferrer reported 23 new COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, along with 406 new cases.
The numbers brought the county’s death toll to 23,292 and the cumulative caseload to 1,222,778.
According to state figures, there were 552 people hospitalized with COVID in L.A. county, down from 568 on Monday. There were 138 people in intensive care, a drop from 144 on Monday.
Meanwhile Tuesday, state health officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom announced they will scrap the reopening plan on June 15, lifting all of its restrictions and eliminating the tier system.
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Discarding the colored tier system will allow restrictions to be lifted from all businesses, gatherings and recreational activities. However, a statewide mask mandate will remain in place.