coronavirus

What's Changed Now That LA County Entered the Orange Tier and Eased Coronavirus Restrictions

California's most populous county entered the state's orange tier for pandemic reopening last week, but will still enforce certain rules that are more strict than what the state allows. 

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What to Know

  • Los Angeles County entered the orange tier of California's reopening plan last week, but held off on easing restrictions.
  • The county will still enforce certain rules that are more strict than what the state allows. Most notably for bars that don't serve food.
  • Movie theaters, restaurants, churches, museums, zoos and aquariums can go from 25% to 50% of capacity. Gyms also can allow more people inside.

Los Angeles County eased its coronavirus restrictions Monday, joining Orange County in enacting looser regulations now that both are in the orange tier of the state's monitoring system.

The restrictions were officially relaxed just after midnight. Here’s what it means for LA County. 

  • Movie theaters, restaurants, churches, museums, zoos and aquariums can go from 25% to 50% of capacity.
  • Gym capacity will be increased from 10% to 25%.
  • Card rooms and family entertainment centers can resume indoor operations at 25% of capacity.

The county will still enforce certain rules that are more strict than what the state allows. Most notably, bars that don't serve food -- which are being permitted to reopen outdoors only -- will only be able to operate from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a required 8-foot distance between outdoor tables.

And although state guidelines allow a lifting of all capacity restrictions on retail establishments in the orange tier, Los Angeles County will impose a 75% limit for grocery stores and other retail operations, while strongly recommending they remain at 50% of capacity until April 15 to allow time for more workers to get vaccinated.

The county's metrics continued to trend in the right direction Sunday, as 535 new cases of COVID-19 and just three additional deaths were reported, although health officials said the lower number of deaths may reflect reporting delays over the weekend.

The number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals ticked up from 590 on Saturday to 591, according to state figures. The number of those patients in intensive care dropped from 158 to 151.

Sunday's numbers brought the county's totals to 1,222,114 cases and 23,275 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Although most orange-tier rules won't take effect until Monday, rules for theme parks and outdoor live event venues -- such as Dodger Stadium -- went into effect Thursday. Those rules allowed theme parks to open at 25% of capacity, and outdoor venues to open at 33% of capacity.

Breweries and wineries will be able to offer indoor service at 25% of capacity as of Monday. Breweries, wineries, bars and restaurants will all be allowed to turn on their television sets outdoors, but live entertainment remains prohibited.

California COVID-19 Vaccinations

The map tracks the number of doses administered by a recipient's county of residence according to the The California Department of Public Health.

Source: The statewide totals for doses administered reflect Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Otherwise we used data from the California Department of Public Health.
Amy O’Kruk/NBC

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