LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Angelenos could very soon have the option of dining indoors or catching a movie in a theater.
After spending more than six months in the purple and most restrictive tier of the state’s reopening metrics, Los Angeles County could qualify to move up to the red tier as early as Friday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom confirmed Wednesday that L.A. County could be upgraded to the red tier by Friday, when the state is slated to meet the goal of administering two million COVID-19 vaccines in low-income, hard-hit communities across California.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said it will take 48 hours after the state announces the vaccination threshold is met for the county to officially move into the red tier. If the goal is met by Friday, the county could advance as early as Sunday.
RELATED: LA County Marks Anniversary Of 1st COVID Death, Prepares To Expand Vaccine Eligibility
Under a plan announced last week, once the state hits the 2-million-dose milestone in low-income communities, the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” that governs business reopenings will be adjusted, making it easier for counties to advance through the four-tier matrix.
When that mark is met, counties will be able to move out of the most restrictive “purple” tier of the blueprint when their average rate of daily new COVID-19 infections reaches 10 per 100,000 residents — a looser standard than the current 7 per 100,000 residents.
As of Wednesday, the state had administered 1,926,968 doses in hard-hit communities.
“L.A. will be a big beneficiary of this new metric that likely will be met on Friday,” Newsom said Wednesday while speaking in South Gate. “And moving through the weekend and into next week, you will see more activity, more loosening of the tiers.”
The red tier allows counties to reopen indoor restaurant dining at 25% capacity, fitness centers at 10% capacity and movie theaters and museums at 25% capacity, while also increasing capacity at retail stores and shopping malls.
It also allows theme parks such as Disneyland in Orange County and Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles County to reopen at 15% of capacity, with in-state visitors only.
Once L.A. County hits the red tier, it’s on L.A. County Public Health Department officials to decide whether to loosen restrictions. A decision is expected Thursday regarding whether L.A. County health officials will allow all businesses to reopen once it moves into the red tier.
L.A. County’s current coronavirus case rate currently sits at 5.2 daily cases per 100,000 residents.
Orange County would also qualify to move into the red tier. Its case rate is 6 per 100,000.
Asked Wednesday whether indoor dining will be permitted, Ferrer was non-committal, saying discussions were continuing with the Board of Supervisors and the restaurant sector.
“We’re looking at what is happening across the state, we’re looking at what we’ve learned about what can created as much safety as possible when people are indoors,” she said.
On Tuesday, two members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger — said they support fully aligning with state guidelines, including indoor dining.
As of last Friday, 2,415,460 doses of COVID vaccine have been administered in L.A. County. That includes 814,593 second doses, representing the number of people who have been fully vaccinated.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)