CALIFORNIA—The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said on Tuesday, September 23, that Los Angeles County has met the criteria to move into the ‘red tier’ (or Tier 2) within the state’s reopening blueprint. 

LA County “must continue to meet these metric thresholds for two consecutive weeks before moving into Tier 2,” the department of Public Health said. 

“Public Health is heartened that Los Angeles County has met the thresholds that may allow us in the near future to move into Tier 2 of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in a news release. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on August 28, a blueprint for counties in the state to determine which businesses could reopen based on “how prevalent COVID-19 is in each county and the extent of community spread.”

Within that framework, counties can fall into one of four colored tiers – Purple (Widespread), Red (Substantial), Orange (Moderate) and Yellow (Minimal). Los Angeles County is currently under the purple tier.

The blueprint’s red tier allows for a number of different businesses to resume mainly indoor operations in a limited capacity. Movie theaters and places of worship are allowed to do so with 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer,” according to the state. 

Businesses that were operating at 25 percent capacity under the purple tier — retail (except standalone grocers) and shopping centers — could increase to 50 percent when the county moves up in the blueprint.  

“We thank Los Angeles County residents, workers, and businesses who have continued to take the steps needed to slow the spread, including wearing their face coverings, physically distancing, and not gathering with people outside their household,” Ferrer added. 

Since the end of August, there has been a significant decrease from an average of hospitalizations, according to Public Health. From a 1,200 average of daily hospitalizations to under 800 this past week. 

Given that numbers must remain steady for the county to move into ‘Tier 2,’ the Department of Public Health said it hopes numbers associated with the Labor Day weekend do not show an increase. 

“We plan to closely monitor our data to understand how effectively we are slowing the spread of COVID-19 after the Labor Day holiday,” said Ferrer.

As of September 22, Los Angeles County has 262,133 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 6,401 deaths.