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County takes big step to ‘new normal’ reaching orange tier

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak had receded far enough that the county would advance to the orange tier of the state’s reopening protocols on Monday.

“Reaching the Orange Tier is a welcome milestone for Los Angeles County and everyone who lives and works here. After a long, tough year, this is the clearest sign yet that we are moving into a new season of hope and renewal. Thanks to our collective vigilance, starting Monday more of us can now take part in more of the rituals and activities that we’ve missed—whether that means joining together, safely, in a place of worship, at the gym or visiting a museum or movie theater,” the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said in a statement.

For Claremont the news means that our many restaurants can increase the indoor dining capacity from 25 to 50 percent. Bars which have remained closed, can now open outdoors with many restrictions. Breweries can open their taprooms at 25 percent capacity but only to customers with reservations. Movie theaters, gyms and museums can all increase their capacity with masking and other restrictions.

Beginning on Thursday, county residents 50 and over can make appointments to receive the coronavirus vaccine and by April 15 residents 16 and over qualify. As of March 22 nearly 39 percent, a total of 12,313 people in the city of Claremont have already been vaccinated.

Public Health officials warn that now is not the time to let our guard down, particularly considering how close the county is to achieving a moderate amount of herd immunity. In recent weeks, outbreaks in New York and New Jersey have underscored how prevalent the virus still is and how easy it is to have another devastating surge.

“We’ve come too far to let our guard down now, so please continue to follow the public health guidance on masking and distancing, and be sure to get vaccinated as soon as it’s your turn. We are still on a long road to recovery, and we don’t want to lose the momentum that has helped us reach the Orange Tier, and all it stands for in terms of enjoying a ‘new normal’ in our daily lives,” the supervisors said in their statement.

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