California reopening proceeds as COVID-19 instances drop

With coronavirus instances persevering with to drop, extra components of California might reopen within the coming days.

A number of counties could be eligible to open indoor operations at restaurant eating rooms, gyms, film theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums and schools as quickly as Wednesday amid a dramatic improvement in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the many counties that might be eligible to go away probably the most restrictive purple tier on Wednesday are San Mateo and Marin counties within the Bay Space and Yolo County, west of Sacramento and residential to UC Davis.

Solely six counties — all sparsely populated areas in Northern California — are usually not within the state’s most restrictive tier: Alpine, Del Norte, Mariposa, Plumas, Sierra and Trinity.

Counties within the second-most restrictive red tier can reopen indoor restaurant eating rooms and film theaters with as much as 25% capability or 100 individuals, whichever is fewer. Gyms and dance and yoga studios can open at 10% capability. Museums, zoos and aquariums can open indoor actions at 25% capability. Shops, indoor malls and libraries can open at 50% capability, a rise from the most-restrictive tier, wherein solely nonessential shops might open at 25% capability.

Meals courts also can reopen in indoor malls in counties within the pink tier however should be at a diminished capability. Within the pink tier, higher-education establishments can maintain indoor lectures and pupil gatherings, however are restricted to 25% capability or 100 individuals, whichever is fewer. Within the purple tier, indoor lectures and pupil gatherings are prohibited.

“All excellent news, all headed in the precise path,” Mike Callagy, the county supervisor for San Mateo County, mentioned at a information convention final week.

Southern California was hit a lot tougher by the winter wave than different components of the state, so reopenings are doubtless going to be slower there, officers have mentioned.

Nonetheless, many pandemic indicators proceed to dramatically enhance. California is recording about 7,000 new coronavirus cases a day now, down from 45,000 a day from six weeks in the past. The variety of COVID-19 sufferers in California’s hospitals on Sunday was 6,569, down from a excessive of 21,936 recorded on Jan. 6.

The variety of individuals in intensive care models statewide was 1,933 on Sunday, down 60% from its peak of four,868 on Jan. 10 and at its lowest quantity since Dec. 1.

California is recording 327 new COVID-19 deaths a day over the previous week, down from the height of 562 deaths a day recorded for the week that ended Jan. 27.

The speed at which coronavirus assessments are coming again optimistic can be constantly declining, knowledge present. The so-called positivity price over a seven-day interval hit a peak of 14.three% on Jan. 7 — the very best quantity for the reason that first weeks of the pandemic final 12 months — and has fallen to three.1%, a determine not seen since Nov. 1.

Whereas well being officers have cheered the state’s collective progress, they’ve continued to warn that California isn’t out of the woods but — and that adherence to infection-prevention protocols similar to wearing masks in public and avoiding crowded settings, significantly indoors, stays a should.

“These numbers persevering with to lower shouldn’t be a given,” Los Angeles County Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer mentioned final week. “This can solely proceed if we’re all within the sport and we’re all utilizing the instruments we’ve got at hand.”

Lin wrote from San Francisco and Smith from Los Angeles. Instances workers author Luke Cash contributed to this report.