Los Angeles County loosens restrictions on businesses, in-person gatherings
 
 
 
 
 
 

Los Angeles County loosens restrictions on businesses, in-person gatherings

/ 10:35 AM March 17, 2021

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County on Monday loosened restrictions on businesses, other establishments and in-person gatherings as COVID-19 cases have declined, and as the state of California has administered two million doses of the vaccine to the most under-resourced communities.

“Today marks a pivotal moment in our fight to end this dual pandemic; public health and economic pandemic,” L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said Monday during a media briefing. “With L.A. County moving into the red tier, it will allow for many segments of our communities to re-open.”

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Red tier guidelines permit the re-openings of museums, zoos, aquariums, gyms, fitness centers, yoga and dance studios, movie theaters, retail and personal care services, indoor dining and indoor shopping malls at limited capacity. Higher education institutions and schools for grades 7 through 12 will also be allowed to re-open.

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell. BALLOTPEDIA

Indoor gatherings at private residences are also now permitted with a maximum of 15 people from up to three different households, with masks and physical distancing are required at all times. Fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to gather indoors – also with a maximum of 15 people – without masks or physical distancing.

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“These re-openings are the result of a great deal of hard work and sacrifice by businesses and individuals alike,” Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for the LA. County Department of Public Health, said during Monday’s briefing.

He urged residents to proceed with caution as establishments re-open, as cases and deaths remain high even as they decline, and because most individuals remain unvaccinated.

“Just because certain activities are allowed or certain reopening protocols are revised, that does not mean that those activities are safe and without risk,” he said, adding that residents should continue practicing physical distancing, wearing masks and avoiding crowds. “The fewer people you encounter and the fewer interactions you have, the smaller the chance the virus will spread.”

As more people get vaccinated, the United States gets closer to reaching herd immunity. Dr. Sarah Lopez, Department of Health Services patient safety officer with the Harbor UCLA Medical Center, said if 75 percent of the population gets vaccinated, the country will be able to reach herd immunity by June.

She said that the goal of vaccinating individuals is to prevent severe COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from the virus. Despite different percentages in the effectiveness of the vaccines, they are all 100 percent effective at preventing severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths, she added.

In light of the re-openings permitted in L.A. County, Mitchell shared resources the county is offering to businesses, including a 30-day supply of PPE to those in the county with 100 or fewer employees. The county has partnered with an organization called PPE Unite to offer this resources. Businesses interested in availing of the PPE can visit ppeunite.org.

L.A. County has also launched a small business stabilization loan program, offering loans from $50,000 to $3 million. Businesses can apply by visiting bizstabilization.lacda.org, emailing [email protected] or calling (626) 586-1550.

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Applications will be excepted until April 16 or until a total of 20 million in loan requests has been received, whichever comes first.

“None of us would have imagined a year ago, a year ago this week, literally, that we would just be starting to reopen our schools, our small businesses backup to the outside world,” Mitchell said. “We’ve reached this moment thanks to our collective effort to socially distance where our masks get tested, and get vaccinated when it’s our turn to do so.”

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TAGS: COVID-19, lockdowns, pandemic
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