Vaccines Help County Move to Orange Tier

Los Angeles County residents will soon see more of the normality they were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.
The L.A. Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that the county has met the threshold for the orange tier — indicating moderate infection of the coronavirus — of the state’s blueprint for a safer economy. The next-to-lowest tier loosens restrictions on businesses and allows theme parks to open. The new health order will go into effect this coming Monday, April 5.
“After a year of fear, anxiety and tragic loss, we’re seeing glimmers of hope once more,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a virtual update on Tuesday. “But this didn’t happen just by accident. This was because of our collective hard work.”
According to data from the state, the adjusted case rate in L.A. County went down from 3.7 per 100,000 to 3.3 per 100,000 and the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 1.5% and 2.1% in underserved communities. The positivity rates are good enough to qualify for the yellow tier — the least restrictive in the state’s reopening plan — but the county would have to maintain those numbers as well as record less than one new daily case per 100,000 for three consecutive weeks to move into the minimal infection tier.
Unlike Orange County, which also qualified for the orange tier and updated its health order on Wednesday, L.A. County officials elected to wait for the full three weeks before transitioning into a less restrictive tier.
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Schools, Officials Celebrate Reopening Milestones

Photo by Charles Hirsch / Burbank Leader
Los Angeles County is expected to move out of the most restrictive tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy as early as Monday. The move would allow movie theaters to reopen at limited capacity and schools to expand in-person instruction to students in grades 7-12.

Life in Los Angeles County during the pandemic is quickly changing after COVID-19 cases plunged since the winter surge amid ramped up efforts to vaccinate residents.
State and county officials recently eased restrictions for schools to offer in-person instruction for their youngest learners, and more reopenings are expected across Los Angeles County as early as next week. Moving into the red tier would also permit schools to reopen for in-person instruction for students in grades 7-12.
The L.A. Department of Public Health anticipates moving out of the purple tier — indicating widespread infection — and into the less restrictive red tier as soon as Monday, March 15, in accordance with the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The new health order that would allow more businesses to reopen will be implemented since the state reached its goal of administering two million doses of the vaccine to its most underprivileged communities on Friday.
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