The City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department has issued an updated Health Order, effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 15, due to Los Angeles County entering the Red Tier, the second of the four-tier color-coded State system under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Under the revised Order, various sectors, businesses and activities, including indoor dining at restaurants and indoor gym and fitness facilities, may resume certain operations with restrictions.
“Moving into the Red Tier shows we are making progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We can begin to expand business operations in the Red Tier, but we still have work to do and we must remain vigilant. Our actions will continue to guide our progress.”
The below is an overview of businesses, services and activities that may resume beginning March 15, provided adherence to the required modifications:
- Restaurants may open indoors with modifications, including maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. This applies to restaurants that serve bona fide meals and brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries and wineries that partner with a City-approved meal provider and serve bona fide meals during the same transaction as alcohol. Bars, where no meal service is provided with the service of alcohol, must remain closed for indoor and outdoor operations. Breweries, distilleries and wineries where no meal is provided with the service of alcohol must remain closed indoors.
- Tables located within an indoor and outdoor dining area must be separated by at least eight feet to ensure that a physical distance of at least six feet between customers and workers at all times is achieved while customers are seated and to allow for passing room between tables and to account for chairs being occupied by customers and pushed out while at the table. In-person dining by only members of a single household is strongly encouraged. Tables and chairs must be removed from dining areas so that 6 feet of physical distance can be maintained for customers and workers at all times. If tables, chairs, booths, etc., cannot be moved, use visual cues to show that they are not available for use.
- Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries (where meals are not served) may open outdoors only. Guests must remain seated at table and must be limited to 90 minutes. Reservations required. Service for on-site consumption must close by 8 p.m. Indoor operations of breweries and distilleries are permitted only where the establishment sells alcohol in the same transaction as a bona fide meal provided by a City-approved meal provider. Bars and pubs must remain closed.
- Gyms and Fitness Centers may open indoors with modifications, including maximum 10% capacity. Outdoor operations of gyms and fitness facilities are strongly encouraged. Climbing walls may reopen.
- Retail may open indoors with modifications, including maximum 50% capacity (increased from maximum 25% capacity).
Private Gatherings may be permitted indoors with face coverings but are strongly discouraged. Limited to three households and no more than 15 people total. Fully-vaccinated people may gather indoors in private settings only, without face coverings, with other fully-vaccinated people and/or with people who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
- Museums, Galleries, Aquariums and Botanical Gardens may open indoors with modifications, limited to 25% of maximum capacity.
- Places of Worship may open indoors with modifications, including maximum 25% capacity. Outdoor services and cultural ceremonies are strongly recommended.
- Movie Theaters may open indoors with modifications, including maximum 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
- Family Entertainment Centers – Standalone amusement attractions that operate independent of, and are located on distinct and separate grounds from other amusement attractions, such as a carousel, Ferris wheel or train ride, may reopen outdoors only. All indoor family entertainment centers must remain closed.
- Institutes of Higher Education may reopen all permitted activities with required safety modifications except for residential housing, which remains under current restrictions for the Spring semester. Capacity of indoor lectures and student gatherings is limited to 25% of maximum occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less. Academic instruction via distance learning is strongly encouraged wherever possible.
- Youth and Adult Sports – Outdoor low-, moderate- and high-contact sports are permitted to resume with modifications. All other sports, including sports played indoors, may resume subject to additional requirements, which may be found in the City’s Youth and Adult Recreational Sports Protocol.
- Outdoor Live Events (sports and live performances) may resume beginning April 1 with capacity limited 20% of maximum occupancy and limited to those in-state. Venues must implement a weekly worker testing program and other modifications in accordance with State guidance. Indoor live events remain prohibited.
For more information or for questions, business owners can call the City’s BizCare Hotline at 562.570.4BIZ (4249), weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read all revisions to the Health Order here.
While the above-mentioned business services and activities are now permitted as a result of the continued decline in COVID-19 cases and increase in persons vaccinated, it is critical to the long term safety, recovery and stability of Long Beach that everyone remains vigilant in practicing all health and safety protocols outlined in the Safer at Home Health Order, including wearing a face covering and maintaining proper physical distance from others, even if they have received COVID-19 vaccinations.
The tiered system is based on three key metrics: the number of new cases per day (per 100,000 residents); the positivity rate (number of positive test results compared to all tests administered); and the health equity metric (testing positivity rate in the lowest-resourced areas). The color-coded tiers range from purple (widespread) to yellow (minimal).
The health equity metric is designed to address the disproportionate case rate of COVID-19 among certain populations. It is based on health equity indicators or conditions that impact public health, such as economic, social, education, transportation, housing and environmental factors. In order to move to a less restrictive tier, the lowest-resourced areas must meet a certain positivity threshold. The health equity metric ensures that individuals affected most by the pandemic are doing well enough that moving the county to the next tier is safe for everyone.
All of Los Angeles County, which includes Long Beach, was previously in the Purple Tier, which is the most restrictive tier. In order to move up to the next tier (Orange), the county must be in the Red Tier for a minimum of three weeks and maintain Orange Tier numbers for two consecutive weeks. That would include a case rate of one to 3.9 daily new cases (per 100k), a 2% to 4.9% positivity rate and a 2.2% to 5.2% health equity metric.
As of March 12, there have been 51,600 COVID-19 cases in Long Beach, and 882 people have died from the virus. Nearly 149,000 vaccines have been administered, which includes more than 98,000 first doses and more than 50,000 second doses.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.