MARCUS PARTIDA (Staff Writer)
California’s vaccine goal in more infectious communities has been reached which allows L.A. County restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other indoor activities to reopen this coming week. According to the Los Angeles Times, California’s goal was to administer 2 million COVID-19 vaccines to those in the more infectious areas of the state.
Meeting this goal would allow for limited indoor dining and the gathering of three households while following distancing requirements. Those who are vaccinated can even gather in small numbers without having to wear masks or follow the distancing requirements.
Some requirements for the indoor dining side of the reopening are 25% capacity and customers must sit eight feet apart from other tables. One household with six people per table is allowed indoors while three households with six people per family can sit together outdoors. Other activities will be allowed to reopen with a few set rules as well. Museums/aquariums/zoos will be allowed to open at 25% capacity, indoor fitness areas will have a masking requirement and 10% capacity and movie theaters can open with reserved seating at 10% capacity, as long as each group is at least six feet from other groups.
“These strict guidelines regarding the reopening of indoor facilities are necessary in the path of recovery for the state of California,” junior Ishaq Khan said. “The policy of reducing indoor capacity, according to the guidelines as listed, will be an effective compromise toward the steady progress of maintaining businesses across the state.”
L.A. County has moved from the restrictive widespread, purple stage to the less restrictive substantial, red stage. This means more businesses and recreational activities are able to open. The next stage of the four-tier reopening blueprint would be the moderate/orange stage where more indoor businesses that are not essential can reopen with some modifications. The LA Times states that those working toward combating the virus are proud of the progress the state has made.
“This milestone is the result of businesses and individuals working together and doing their part to prevent COVID-19 from spreading,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
The L.A. Times states that a total of 110,000 restaurants around the country have closed this past year according to the National Restaurant Association. It was also estimated that 1.4 million residents worked in restaurants prior to the pandemic. About one million of these workers are now left unemployed due to the closures caused by the pandemic.
“I think that choosing to reopen struggling restaurants would be a great choice because many communities rely on these businesses as a source of overall source of income… workers and their families at times solely depend on these restaurants to provide them income,” sophomore Steven Samaniego said.
The county’s reopening is scheduled for this coming week and other counties are scheduled to open as soon as Wednesday. The state and the country continue to move toward better conditions by providing vaccines and helping decrease the number of cases per day. The better conditions get, the more activities are allowed to reopen. Many hope to continue on this path following the four-tier reopening plan in order to return to what was considered normal.