By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Los Angeles County became eligible to move into the less-restrictive orange tier in the state’s reopening framework this week, according to data released Tuesday, March 30, by the Department of Public Health.
The move would allow increased capacities for a number of businesses starting Monday, April 5.
Restaurants and movie theaters within counties in the orange tier are allowed to increase indoor capacity from 25% to 50%, gyms can expand from 10% to 25% capacity. Retail stores can operate at 100%, and bars operating outdoors will no longer be required to serve food.
Public Health also announced plans to expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday, April 1, for individuals 50 and older and individuals 16 and older on Thursday, April 15.
“The county hopes the expansion of eligibility carries with it increased doses of vaccine coming into LA County,” according to a statement from Public Health. “LA County vaccination sites continue to operate below their capacity and have the ability to vaccinate around twice the number of residents each week than our current allocation allows.”
As of Friday, March 26, nearly 3.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to people across LA County. Of those vaccinated, 1,232,348 people received second doses and 67,016 people received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“In large studies that involved a diverse mix of people, all three vaccines were shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease,” according to Public Health. “There is early data showing that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19. We’re still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus and how long protection lasts.”
To date, 47.8% of Pacific Palisades and 46.9% of Palisades Highlands residents have gotten at least one shot, according to data from Public Health.
“The more people that are vaccinated, the closer we are to ending the horrific death toll associated with the pandemic,” LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “As vaccination eligibility expands, we remain laser-focused on ensuring an equitable distribution of vaccines.”
Ahead of spring break, spiritual and religious holidays, Public Health reminded the community that travel still increases the risk of transmission. Angelenos should continue to avoid all non-essential travel, staying within 120 miles of their place of residence.
As the Post went to print Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had reached 1,218,958 across the county when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 23,110 deaths. The county’s daily test positivity rate is 1.4%.
Pacific Palisades had reached 809 confirmed cases and 16 deaths Tuesday, with an additional 147 in Palisades Highlands and one death.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, regardless of immigration status or if the person has health insurance. Residents of Pacific Palisades can visit myturn.ca.gov to determine eligibility to get a vaccine and make an appointment.
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