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Bars to reopen outdoors as LA, OC qualify to upgrade to Orange level

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LOS ANGELES (UKTN) – California officials reported on Tuesday that Los Angeles and Orange counties were eligible to upgrade the state’s coronavirus reopening guidelines to orange level after meeting the standards required to do so.

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Diners dine at outdoor tables at a restaurant on March 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Getty Images)

Orange County officials said they would immediately ease restrictions from Wednesday. However, LA County will wait until Monday, April 5 to follow suit.

This decision will increase the capacity limits of restaurants, cinemas, churches, museums, zoos and aquariums from 25% to 50%. The capacity of the fitness center can also be increased from 10% to 25%.

LA County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer also said a revised health ordinance would go into effect on April 5, allowing outside bars to reopen with changes. In LA County, bars will be limited to outdoor table service only, operating only from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a required distance of 8 feet between outdoor tables.

LA County breweries and wineries can also open indoors at 25% capacity. Breweries, wineries and bars will once again be allowed to turn on their TVs outside, but live shows remain banned.

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Card rooms and family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys, can operate indoors at 25% capacity.

While state guidelines allow all capacity restrictions on Orange Level retail establishments to be lifted, LA County will impose a 75% limit on grocery stores and other retail operations, while by recommending “strongly” to remain at 50% of their capacity until April 15 it is time for more workers to be vaccinated.

The move will also allow Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium and other venues to increase fan capacity to 33%, up from 20% currently.

According to Ferrer, LA County is slow to track the number of cases in the county’s third week in the most restrictive red level, adding that it is not known why the state decided to allow the county to pass. immediately to orange level, although counties are forced to wait three weeks before moving on to state guidelines.

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OC metrics to go orange on March 23. Since it is to remain in the red level for three weeks and maintain current levels for two, the county was not to change levels until April 7.

This is good news for many, and especially for businesses that shut down during the pandemic.

“It’s an incredible step forward. People haven’t been able to come to our city to enjoy the theme parks for a convention, to enjoy baseball for over a year now, ”Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster said.

To qualify for the orange level, a county needs an average of less than 3.9 cases of coronavirus per day per 100,000 population, as well as a test positivity rate of 4.9% or less. He must maintain these levels for two consecutive weeks.

According to weekly figures released by the state on Tuesday, LA County had a new case rate of 3.1 per 100,000 population and a test-positive rate of 1.5%. Both numbers were down from last week, when LA County fell into the orange range with a case rate of 3.7 per 100,000 and a test-positivity rate of 1.8%.

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State rules require counties to stay in a level for three weeks before they can advance. Los Angeles County officially entered the red category on March 12, so it can’t technically switch to orange until Friday.

Theme parks could increase their capacity to 25%, up from 15%. Six Flags Magic Mountain and Legoland will reopen on April 1, the first day they are allowed to do so, while Disneyland announced it will reopen on April 30. Universal Studios announced its reopening on April 16 on Tuesday.

Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will be extended Thursday to all residents aged 50 and over. As of April 15, anyone aged 16 and over will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

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(© Copyright 2021 UKTN Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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