Los Angeles County is on the brink of entering the yellow tier of California's COVID-19 reopening system, a momentous achievement for a region that was once considered the epicenter of the pandemic in the state. A move to the yellow level would allow many sectors to increase capacity and bars to start offering indoor service at 25% capacity. A Revised Order for Los Angeles County Health Officers will go into effect Thursday, May 6, to reflect newly permitted activities. Achieving the yellow level requires an adjusted daily rate of new cases of less than 2 per 100,000 people, an overall test positivity of less than 2%, and a health equity positivity of less than 2.2%.
County health positivity and equity percentages are within the yellow range, but the region is on the edge of the knife when it comes to case numbers. It was only about six weeks ago that the county moved from the more restrictive purple tier, in which indoor operations are suspended or severely limited in a number of business sectors. At the yellow level, most companies can operate indoors, with modifications. Advancing to the final category was even more difficult before California revised its reopening benchmarks earlier this month, after reaching the self-set goal of administering 4 million doses of vaccines in the state's most affected and disadvantaged communities.
Before that, entering the yellow tier required an adjusted daily rate of new cases of less than 1 per 100,000 people. The levels will soon be debatable as California aims to scrap the framework and fully reopen its economy on June 15, although some safety rules will remain in place. Orange County will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines at several other locations, including a new mass vaccination center in Great Park in Irvine. It is critical that residents complete the required inoculation program, meaning both doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
While it's true that “one dose offers some protection against COVID-19”, it's not as strong a level of protection as what two doses offer.The county reflects and helps chart the course of the pandemic across the state. California's latest seven-day new coronavirus case rate, 33 per 100,000 people, is the lowest in any state and well below the national rate of 116.4, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The proportion of those tests that tested positive has plummeted, reaching a seven-day average of 1.2% as of Tuesday. During the darkest days of the autumn-winter increase, the weekly positivity rate statewide approached 15%.
The number of patients positive for coronavirus in California hospitals has also continued to fall.Residents only need to look at the situation that is developing in other areas of the world, in particular India, to have a warning about how quickly the pandemic can get out of control again. While it is encouraging to see mortality rates decline, “almost everyone who dies today from COVID would be alive if they were fully vaccinated”.CDC Data Shows California Providers Have Administered a Total of 29.1 Million Doses. To date, 47.2% of Californians have received at least one dose and 28.8% consider themselves fully vaccinated, meaning they have received the necessary two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Americans No Longer Need to Wear Masks Outdoors Unless They're in a Large Crowd of Strangers.