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LA County to reopen indoor dining, gyms on Monday after moving into red tier

Los Angeles County will move into the red tier of the state’s reopening guidelines starting Sunday after being in the purple tier since August. The county will begin implementing the loosened restrictions Monday. (Kanishka Mehra/Photo editor)

By Bernard Mendez and Hyeyoon (Alyssa) Choi

March 12, 2021 2:20 p.m.

This post was updated March 12 at 3:12 p.m. to reflect new information from the LACDPH. 

Los Angeles County will loosen restrictions on indoor dining and other indoor businesses starting Monday after California met a vaccine distribution threshold, state health officials announced Friday.

California had to distribute at least two million vaccines to under-resourced communities across the state before LA County moved into the red tier, according to California Department of Public Health guidelines. The state met that metric Friday, and will move LA County out of the purple tier starting Sunday, the CDPH announced in a press release Friday.

The loosened restrictions will allow restaurants in LA County to open indoor dining at 25% capacity, according to a LACDPH press release Thursday. Indoor gyms and fitness centers can also reopen at 10% capacity, while museums, zoos and aquariums can reopen at 25% capacity. Movie theaters will also be able to open at 25% capacity.

The LACDPH said in a tweet Friday that it will implement the loosened restrictions starting Monday, instead of Sunday.

The LACDPH said in the press release that LA County will mostly follow the state’s guidelines for the red tier, but may require additional safety measures for some industries.

LA County had been in the most severe purple tier since the state created the tier system in August. In total, 13 counties, including LA County, Orange County and San Bernardino County, will move from the purple tier to the red tier Sunday.

“This milestone is the result of businesses and individuals working together and doing their part to prevent COVID-19 from spreading,” LACPH Director Barbara Ferrer said in the LACPH press release. “It will be up to everyone, businesses and residents, to continue driving down transmission and to follow safety directives closely to keep everyone as safe as possible by preventing increases in cases.”

Previously, a county had to report seven or fewer daily new infections per 100,000 residents for at least two weeks before it moved to the red tier, but state officials changed that metric March 4 to accelerate reopening. Once two million vaccine doses are administered to hard-hit communities, the state lets counties move into the red tier if it has 10 or fewer daily new infections per 100,000 residents for two weeks.

UCLA is beginning to reopen some facilities on campus at a limited capacity, including outdoor study spaces, libraries, some recreation services and rehearsal rooms and practice facilities for students. The Charles E. Young Research Library is scheduled to reopen the first floor and the A-floor as a study space for UCLA students and faculty Monday.

UCLA is also planning to return to mostly in-person learning by fall 2021 because of the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The loosened restrictions also allow institutes of higher education to reopen activities allowed by the county. UCLA has not yet announced plans to reopen indoor dining or indoor gyms.

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Bernard Mendez | News editor
Mendez is the 2020-2021 News editor. He was previously a staff news reporter for the Science & Health beat and a developer for The Stack. He is also a third-year math student at UCLA.
Mendez is the 2020-2021 News editor. He was previously a staff news reporter for the Science & Health beat and a developer for The Stack. He is also a third-year math student at UCLA.
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