Southland on the Verge of Wider Reopening

A positive sign of improvement is the reopening of larger indoor movie theaters over the past weekend.

As coronavirus cases continue to drop in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, they inch closer toward significantly fewer business restrictions.

AMC Burbank 16 in Burbank, California on March 21, 2021. (PHOTO: Robert Wheaton)

AMC Burbank 16 in Burbank, California on March 21, 2021. (PHOTO: Robert Wheaton)

Under California’s reopening plan, California’s most and third-most populous counties, respectively, may soon enter the orange (moderate) tier of restrictions. It’s the second least restrictive of the four tiered plan. Nine counties are currently in the orange tier, representing a little over ten percent of the state’s population.

To enter the orange tier, a county needs to consistently have between 1.0% and 3.9% of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 population, and a positive coronavirus test rate between 2.0% and 4.9%. If only one metric is achieved, the county remains in the more restrictive tier. Of the two counties, Orange appears the closest to reaching that goal. As of Tuesday, March 23rd, it is meeting those two metrics with a test positivity rate of 2.1% and a coronavirus case rate of 3.5%.

Los Angeles County on the other hand, while having a test positivity rate of only 1.8% (which actually qualifies for the least restrictive yellow or minimal risk tier), it’s COVID-19 case rate remains slightly above the orange tier at 4.8% or in the purple or widespread risk tier.

A positive sign of improvement is the reopening of larger indoor movie theaters over the past weekend. For example, the large AMC Burbank 16 is now open with significantly reduced capacity. Smaller capacity auditoriums, such as those operated by the Landmark and Laemmle theater chains, which specialize in independent and foreign films, remain closed.

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