Los Angeles businesses will begin reopening on Monday after months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic after officials said Friday they had met their goal of vaccinating 2 million residents of the city's hardest-hit areas.
The county's health department said on Twitter that schools could resume for in-person learning for grades 7-12, while businesses such as movie theaters and gyms could reopen up to certain capacity restrictions for indoor services.
Gyms and yoga centers will only be allowed to max out at 10 percent of their usual capacity, while movie theaters can operate at 25 percent capacity or a max of 100 people at a time, whichever is fewer.
Indoor dining is also resuming, though there must be an eight-foot gap between tables and residents may only sit together if they are living in the same household.
Effective Monday, March 15th at 12:01am, additional sectors in LA County can align with red tier modifications with Public Health measures in place. pic.twitter.com/Fmdp8SMzDF— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) March 12, 2021
“We have achieved this milestone and moved down to the Red Tier because as a county we worked hard, looked out for one another, and came together to defeat the dark winter surge,” Los Angeles's board of supervisors chair told KTLA. “Although we are taking steps to re-open some of the hardest hit sectors of our economy, that in no way means we can drop our guard now.”
Los Angeles county reported just under 800 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, and has seen its test positivity rate drop in recent weeks. The number of hospitalizations from the disease has also sharply decreased.
“As we move forward, if an individual county or a series of counties begins to see their case rate drift upwards, we will of course continue to have a protection of the purple tier above a case rate of 10,” the state's health director said last week.
The reopening comes as national health experts have urged caution and warned against relaxing restrictions too quickly.
"I get so anxious when I hear pulling back completely on public health measures, like saying, 'No more masks, no nothing like that.' I mean, that is a risky business when you do that," Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Fauci: 'Worst time' for a government shutdown is in middle of pandemic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in MORE, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday.