Shortly after Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would be lifting the regional stay-at-home order across the state, Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis on Monday announced that Los Angeles County “will essentially align with the state, by the end of the week, to allow for the reopening of permitted activities under the Purple Tier,” including outdoor dining.
“Please don’t take this news to mean that you can return to life as normal,” she said. “Masks, physical distancing and limiting activities are still key to getting out of this pandemic until we can get everyone vaccinated.”
With the cancelation of the regional stay-at-home order, L.A. County returns to the most restrictive tier (also known as the Purple Tier) as it still has widespread community transmission of COVID-19. L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the health officer order issued on Nov. 25 will be in effect until a new health officer order is issued Friday that will more closely align with business openings permitted in the Purple Tier.
Currently, restaurants, wineries and breweries are limited to pick-up, delivery, and take-out. Outdoor dining will resume on Friday, with occupancy limits, when the county issues a new health officer order and rescinds hours of operation restrictions for non-essential businesses between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Effective immediately, the following is allowed:
- Outdoor private gatherings limited to three households and a total of 15 persons.
- Family entertainment centers can open for outdoor operations at 50% capacity.
- Museums, zoos, and aquariums can open for outdoor operations.
- Cardrooms can open outdoor operations at 50% capacity.
- Miniature golf, go karts, and batting cages can open outdoor operations at 50%.
- Outdoor recreational activity can open.
- Tourism and individuals travel is allowed at hotels and motels.
- Fitness facilities can open for outdoor operations.
- Personal care businesses can open at 25% indoor capacity.
- Faith-based services can open outdoors only.
- Indoor malls, shopping centers, lower-risk retail continues to be allowed at 25% indoor capacity. However, food courts and common areas must remain closed.
The loosening of restrictions comes as hospitalization and case numbers begin to decline, though hospitals continue to struggle. Hospitals across the county are caring for more COVID-positive patients than they were at earlier stages of the pandemic. Currently there are 82 available ICU beds in the county, according to data released by Health Services Monday.
“Please remember that while the hospital numbers are declining, the hospitals are still in the thick of navigating this surge,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, Health Services director. “Many hospitals are still short of staffing, they’re relying on contract and registry nurses, or relying on nurses sent in from the state or the federal government. We are still relying on these alternative care sites and many hospitals are still using team-based care models.”
Hospitals still have been unable to ramp up elective surgeries and non-essential procedures, she said.
L.A. County has experienced more than 5,000 new COVID-19 deaths since Dec. 30, the Public Health Department said Saturday.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that breweries remained closed. Restaurants, wineries and breweries remain open for pick-up, delivery, and take-out only.