Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the lifting of the Regional Stay at Home Order, allowing counties to return to the color-coded tier system that allows for reopening based on case numbers per 100,000 population and the positivity rate among people who have taken COVID-19 tests. The Governor lifted the order because it is projected that Southern California will have over 15% hospital ICU capacity in one month. Los Angeles County, which includes Long Beach, will return to the purple tier under the State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The City will issue an updated Health Order to reflect this change and continue to limit COVID-19 spread in the community.
Long Beach will be aligning with the State’s purple tier, subject to certain restrictions to help limit further transmission of COVID-19. Hospitalization rates continue to be concerning. However, over the past two weeks, Long Beach-area hospitalizations have declined from 578 to 433 and the unadjusted intensive care unit (ICU) capacity has recently increased from 9% to 11% of ICU beds available. While the slowing of new cases, the reduction in hospitalizations and slowly increasing ICU capacity allows for the limited reopening of certain sectors, it is critical to remember that Long Beach continues to see hundreds of new cases each day and dozens of deaths each week. The pandemic is far from over. All residents are still required to wear a face covering, maintain physical distance from others and are strongly urged to avoid gatherings to slow the spread.
Effective Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, the Long Beach Health Department will issue a revised Health Order lifting the restrictions in the Regional Stay at Home Order. Examples of major sectors that will now be permitted under the purple tier in Long Beach as of Tuesday, subject to modifications including physical distancing and requiring face coverings, include:
- Outdoor in-person dining, subject to several restrictions preventing overcrowding, creating appropriate distancing and requiring masking. Requirements for in-person dining will include spacing tables eight feet apart to maintain a constant six-foot separation between tables; requiring masking at all times except when physically eating or drinking; and strongly encouraging dining for households only to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Indoor personal care services including tanning salons, esthetician, skin care and cosmetology services; electrology; body art professionals, tattoo parlors, microblading and permanent make-up; piercing shops; and massage therapy and setting capacity limits based on the ability to maintain six feet of distance between customers.
- Hotels, motels, lodging, shared rental units and other similar facilities for all types of travel, including tourism and individual travel.
- Outdoor operations of museums, zoos and aquariums
Limited gatherings, per State Guidance, of no more than three households, with gatherings allowed outdoors only
Places of worship may continue to operate outdoors. Gyms can continue outdoor operations, and indoor retail will continue, subject to capacity limitations.
The Health Order on Tuesday will define the various restrictions to be put in place based on a review of the health data and decisions by the City’s Health Officer. Until the Health Order is issued, all current restrictions stay in place. There will be further information tomorrow on the specific requirements for each sector to open safely.