5 Counties, Including Last Southern California Holdout, Move Into Orange Tier Of State’s Covid Reopening Plan

California health officials on Tuesday announced that five counties are moving to less-stringent levels of coronavirus restrictions including Santa Barbara, which had been the lone holdout in Southern California.

Calaveras, Fresno, Kings, Mono and Santa Barbara counties were the five regions that advanced from the Red tier to Orange, meaning 87% of the state’s population now sits in Orange. For a breakdown of activities permitted — and the capacities at which they can take place — see chart at bottom.

There are now no counties in the most restrictive Purple tier of California’s color-coded Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Seventeen Northern and Central CA counties remain in the Red — or “substantial” — tier. Thirty eight counties — including Los Angeles are in the “moderate” Orange Tier. Three counties are in the in Yellow — or “minimal” — Tier.

Los Angeles made progress toward the Yellow tier on Tuesday. Two of the three metrics used to determine tier status have qualified the city to move, but the adjusted 7-day average case rate per 100,000 has kept it in Orange. That average daily number needs to be under 2 cases per 100,000. Last week it was 3. This week, it dipped to 2.7.

In the Yellow tier a whole host of wider reopenings can occur, not the least of which is an expansion from 50% to 75% capacity for movie theaters so long as everyone in the audience has been fully vaccinated or has recently tested positive. The loosening of those restrictions was reported by Deadline on Monday.

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