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A.M. Brief: L.A. County Could Move to Red Tier By This Weekend

March 10, 2021 by Brian Champlin
Mask wearing restaurant workers in Pasadena
Outdoor dining in Pasadena. Photo by: Christina Champlin

Will Los Angeles County be “seeing red” soon? A move to a lower COVID-19 tier could reopen restaurants for indoor dining and even allow guests at movie theaters. Also this morning: The Queen Mary’s lease is going up for auction, the county considers 24-hour vaccine sites, and a Pasadena vaccine clinic gets canceled after ineligible recipients book most of the appointments. As usual, this is your L.A. news brief. Have at it!

Morning News Rundown

Based on current infection data, L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said Los Angeles could move into the red tier of reopening guidelines by this weekend. That means indoor dining could resume at 25% capacity, pending approval by public health officials. The county’s current state-adjusted average rate of daily new COVID-19 cases now stands at 5.2 per 100,000 residents, less than the 7 per 100,000 requirement to move to the red tier. [LAist]

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A move to the red tier means that movie theaters could technically reopen, perhaps as soon as the weekend of March 19. According to state guidelines, theaters in red tier counties can open auditoriums at 25% capacity, limited to 100 guests. [Hollywood Reporter]

The Singapore-based hospitality group that leases the Queen Mary from the city of Long Beach filed for bankruptcy in January. Now, they’ll auction the ship’s lease to pay off debt. The auction could take place as soon as May. A starting bid for the leasehold is $470 million. [LB Post]

24-hour vaccine sites? They might be coming to L.A. soon. During yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, officials passed a motion ordering Public Health to assess costs to operate vaccine distribution centers for extended hours, possibly even overnight. [LAist]

A new study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino quantifies the disturbing trend of anti-Asian hate crimes in major cities throughout the country. Overall, reported hate crimes against Asian-Americans increased by nearly 150% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020. Hate crimes in Los Angeles increased over 100%, from seven to 15 reported. [NBC News]

Pasadena health officials canceled a pop-up vaccination clinic scheduled for Tuesday after scores of people technically ineligible for the shots booked appointments. The clinic was targeting individuals over 65 and essential workers who live or work in Pasadena. Howver, a large swath of appointments were taken up by employees at media orgs and production companies after registration links were spread via email. [L.A. Times]

A group of economists from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management forecast that California will recover from the economic drag of the pandemic faster than other parts of the U.S. The forecasting group highlights the state’s high rate of technology workers and overall adoption of work-from-home trends as reasons for an outpaced rebound. [L.A. Times]

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