Pasadena will ease its coronavirus restrictions at one minute after midnight, joining LA County in enacting looser regulations now that both are in the orange tier of the state’s monitoring system.
That means local movie theaters, restaurants, churches, and museums can go from 25% to 50% of capacity, while gyms will be increased from 10% to 25%.
The city officially entered the orange tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Wednesday. Loosened business restrictions that come with that move will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday. That will mean more capacity at many businesses and reopening of some indoor activities.
But Dr. Muntu Davis, the county’s chief health officer, is still preaching the need for caution.
“Our numbers have improved dramatically but we cannot let up,” he said. “With the beautiful weather, the spring holidays … and baseball season starting, there are plenty of reasons to get together with friends. We ask that you avoid taking unnecessary risk, avoid large gatherings and wear your mask when you’re in public and around others and please continue washing your hands.”
Although most orange-tier rules won’t take effect until Monday, Davis said rules for theme parks and outdoor live event venues — such as Dodger Stadium — went into effect Thursday. Those rules allowed theme parks to open at 25% of capacity, and outdoor venues to open at 33% of capacity.
Breweries and wineries will be able to offer indoor service at 25% of capacity as of Monday. Breweries, wineries, bars and restaurants will all be allowed to turn on their television sets outdoors, but live entertainment remains prohibited.
Long Beach, which has its own health department, parted ways with the county and immediately moved to orange-tier rules on Wednesday. The city generally aligned with the state’s guidelines, including the elimination of capacity limits at retail stores.
Californians aged 50 and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday — adding about 1.4 million Los Angeles County residents to the pool of people trying to get appointments. There are about 2 million people in the county total in that group, but about 600,000 are believed to have previously been vaccinated as part of another eligible category.
On April 15, everyone aged 16 and up becomes eligible for the shots.
That group includes an estimated 5 million people. The county’s chief science officer, Dr. Paul Simon, said Friday that only about 16% of residents aged 16-29 have been vaccinated already, and about 26% of those aged 30-49, meaning there will be a major jump in demand for appointments on the 15th.
“We do urge patience among all out there who are understandably extremely eager to be vaccinated,” he said.
For the second week in a row, the county this week is expected to set another record in terms of its vaccine allocation, with 397,430 doses expected.
That includes 118,000 Johnson & Johnson single-shot doses.
Of the overall allotment, 72% will be used for first doses and 28% for second doses, Simon said.