Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

LA County Moves to Tier 3

Last Tuesday, March 30, 2021, the County’s adjusted case rate reached 3.1 new cases per 100,000 residents (down from 3.7/100,000), and the seven-day test positivity rate was 1.5% (down from 1.8%). Given these improvements, on April 5, 2021, L.A. County moved into Tier 3 of the State’s Blueprint. In turn, the L.A. County Department of Public Health issued a revised Health Officer Order. The Order generally directs the following:

  • Bars that do not provide meals will be allowed to open outdoors with distancing, masking and infection control safety measures. Indoor operations are not permitted. Additional restrictions apply.
  • Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries that do not serve meals can remain open outdoors and can also open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Again, additional restrictions apply.
  • Restaurants can increase capacity for indoor dining to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less, with continued safety modifications.
  • Cardrooms can operate indoors at 25% capacity. There must be 8 feet of distance between tables, and masks are always required. Food and beverages remain banned from card tables.
  • Places of Worship can hold services indoors at 50% capacity.
  • Fitness Centers can operate indoors at 25% capacity, and indoor pools can now reopen. Masks are always required unless swimming.
  • Movie Theaters can increase capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less. Seats must be reserved, and each group must have 6 feet of distance from other groups in all directions. Eating is allowed only in designated areas or in your reserved seat.
  • Family Entertainment Centers can open indoors at 25% capacity for distanced activities, such as bowling or escape rooms. Masks remain required.
  • Grocery and Retail Stores can increase capacity to 75%, although the County recommends grocery stores remain at 50% capacity until April 15 to allow as many grocery store workers as possible to get vaccinated.
  • Hair Salons, Barbershops and Personal Care Services can increase capacity to 75% with masks required, except for services where customers need to remove their masks. Additional restrictions apply.
  • Museums, Zoos and Aquariums can be open indoors at 50% capacity.
  • Youth and Adult Recreational Sports can apply to the Department of Public Health for approval for athletic events, tournaments or competitions that involve more than two teams or multiple individuals.

Despite the movement toward reopening, the County also experienced a small but sustained uptick in COVID-19 infections and deaths. Last week, new cases roses almost every day of the week, although levels remain below prior surges. In addition, there was a single-day increase in hospitalizations on Thursday, April 1, 2021, despite an otherwise downward trajectory.

Vaccinations

As of Friday, April 2, 2021, the County reported administering 4,013,521 total vaccine doses, including 2,689,835 first doses and 1,323,868 second doses.

This week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health expects to receive just under 400,000 vaccine doses, in addition to another 125,000 doses to be administered by state and federal Points of Distribution.

On April 1, 2021, all County residents age 50 and over became eligible for vaccination, and all residents (over age 16) will be eligible beginning April 15, 2021. The County estimates that the April 15 expansion will make nearly 5 million additional people eligible for vaccination.

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