Red-level Los Angeles movie theaters reopen, local officials confirm – Deadline

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Thursday confirmed news from Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday that movie theaters can open indoors at 25% capacity “with seats reserved only when each group sits at least 6 feet apart in all directions. between all other groups. “

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Wednesday the county plans to issue its own operating guidelines for restaurants, theaters, gyms, outdoor live events and reopens theme parks as the county planned to move to the less restrictive “red” level. of the California reopening plan.

LA County Press release the confirmation of the ruling makes no mention of the other caveat in the state order, but county officials cannot be more lenient than the state, so both should apply.

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The state restriction reads: “The capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.” So not only is the new LA County Health Order in effect, but theaters will also be bound by the 100-person limit mentioned in the state order.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the relaxation of state restrictions earlier Wednesday. But local health officials have the power to be more restrictive than the state. Los Angeles health officials have exercised this option in the past. In restaurants, for example, LA officials have banned outdoor TV screens even though state guidelines allow it. Ferrer says there is no definitive answer yet on whether indoor dining will be allowed, although it is an activity allowed in the “red” level of the master plan. government for a more secure economy.

The day after his state-of-the-state address, Governor Gavin Newsom announced good news to an estimated 15 million Californians. Newsom said the state will meet its threshold for delivering 2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to low-income and hard-hit communities on Friday, sparking a change in the state’s blueprint for a safer economy which will advance Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino. counties in the “red” level of this matrix and pave the way for more businesses. As long as local health officials agree, businesses in those counties will be allowed to open on Saturday under the less restrictive red level limits. LA has been in the most restrictive level of the governor’s master plan since August.

State officials recently announced that theme parks would be allowed to reopen on April 1 at 15% capacity, with visitors in the state only. This schedule is now advanced by about two weeks. Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced on Tuesday that Disneyland would reopen “at the end of April.”

Live outdoor events like sports and concerts are allowed to reopen at 20% capacity. This includes suites at 25% occupancy per suite and no more than three households in each suite.

On Tuesday, however, two members of the LA County Supervisory Board said they supported full alignment with state guidelines as soon as possible.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said earlier this week that it will take 48 hours after the state announced the vaccination threshold has been reached for the county to officially move to red levels. . If the goal is met on Friday, as Newsom announced, the county would move forward on Sunday.

Ferrer warned the council that while the number of cases and the test-positivity rate have dropped precipitously in recent weeks, things could easily get worse if residents become lax about infection control measures.

“This is the month I would say – March, early April – where we have to be extremely careful,” she said. “Because we’ve been here before. We have been here with reopenings. We came here to travel around Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have seen what happens around the holidays if we are not really careful. … We need to keep everyone alive now so they can get vaccinated and stay alive. This would therefore be the time to exercise extreme caution. “

She specifically highlighted the spread of variants of the virus that causes Covid-19, which can spread more easily from person to person. Ferrer said the variant first identified in the UK has increased its reach in Los Angeles County and is now believed to be responsible for 10% of all COVID cases in the county. So-called West Coast variants are even more prevalent, state data shows.

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