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L.A. County entering yellow tier is a sign of hope

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After a long year of being bound indoors with strict guidelines due to the deadly COVID-19 surge, Los Angeles County has met state guidelines to enter the yellow tier, making it one of the largest reopenings since the start of the pandemic and giving hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is coming closer.

California’s COVID-19 progress has been tracked using the color-coded four-tier system, purple tier being the worst signifying widespread danger and yellow tier being minimal with the least amount of restrictions. Last month, every county in California officially left the purple tier following the increased availability with vaccinations. With the state getting closer to reaching herd immunity and fully reopening, it is important to understand the new required guidelines. 

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health bars that do not serve food will be able to allow a maximum 25 percent indoor capacity depending on the size of the location and remove time limits at the establishment. They have the possibility to increase the capacity to 37.5 percent if attendees are able to provide a recent negative COVID-19 test or prove they are fully vaccinated. 

Restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries in Los Angeles County will be able to allow 50% indoor capacity and private dining if guidelines, including proper ventilation and mask enforcement, are followed. 

The current Centers for Disease Control guidelines allow for people to ease the restrictions such as mask wearings outside, but they still advocate for erring on the safe side, including taking precautions when in indoor public settings. It is important to continue to push for vaccinations as this is a key factor in returning to a normal everyday life. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom also mentioned that with the current vaccination rollout and the decreasing infection rates, California could fully reopen as soon as June 15. However, we will not reach that point unless everyone continues adhering to all guidelines.

It is still vital to continue to follow social distancing guidelines until we are able to reach that point. And, most importantly, to get vaccinated if you have not done so already.

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