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[Updated] Pasadena officially qualified today to advance to the less-restrictive orange tier of the state’s COVID-19 business-reopening blueprint.
The city is expected to announce new guidelines and when restrictions will be eased.
The city could act in concert with LA County or go in its own way because it has its own health department.
The county delayed a move to red-tier guidelines for three days to give business owners time to make required adjustments.
Pasadena also entered the red tier on March 15.
The orange tier also allows for bars to reopen outdoors, while card rooms and family entertainment centers could be cleared to resume indoor operations.
The city could, however, opt to maintain stricter rules than the state authorizes.
Health officials also fear that upcoming spring break activities — along with the Easter and Passover holidays — could prompt gatherings that threaten to quickly spread the virus.
“While COVID-19 numbers have decreased in L.A. County, transmission remains widespread and is increasing in many other states and countries,” the county Department of Public Health warned Sunday.
Vaccine eligibility will expand Thursday to all residents aged 50 and over, but with vaccine supplies still relatively limited, getting an appointment could prove difficult.
Qualifying for the orange tier requires an average daily rate of new COVID infections of 3.9 per 100,000 residents, along with a testing-positivity rate of 4.9% or less, and maintain those levels for two consecutive weeks.
According to weekly figures released by the state Tuesday, Los Angeles had a new case rate of 3.6 per 100,000 residents, and a testing-positivity rate of 1.3%. Both numbers were down from last week, when the county’s case rate was 3.7 per 100,000 residents, and the testing-positivity rate of 1.8%.
The county has largely aligned with the state’s guidelines under the red tier, although it continues to ban restaurants, breweries and wineries from turning on their television sets, in an effort to avoid gatherings of sports fans. The state and other counties have no such restriction.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week health officials will work with the Board of Supervisors and representatives from business sectors impacted by the move to the orange tier, and will “assess what makes sense for L.A. County.”
“We are committed, along with everyone, to move forward,” she said. “And we are excited about this opportunity to stay on our recovery journey. And we know this means a lot to everyone. But we have to do it in a way that doesn’t jeopardize safety.”