LA County restaurants reopen after Gov. Newsom ends safer-at-home order

Emily Holshouser, Assistant News Editor

Gov. Newsom’s latest announcement has allowed restaurants to open after months of closures. (Chris Torres)

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ended the statewide COVID-19 stay-at-home order and announced that all five regions in the state can resume outdoor dining, outdoor worship services, and other formerly prohibited activities. Rather than a statewide order, regions will return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system that uses ICU capacity projections to determine which regions can resume more high-risk activities.

L.A. County Public Health officials announced during a briefing on Monday that the county will abide by the statewide order. Here’s what’s reopening beginning Friday. For a full list, see here.


  • Restaurants and wineries will reopen for outside dining
  • Salons, barbershops and body waxing studios will reopen indoors with 25% capacity
  • Indoor malls and smaller retail shops with a 25% capacity
  • Gyms and fitness centers with outdoor modifications
  • Places of worship with outdoor modifications


The Public Health Department also cautioned for Angelenos to remain vigilant and that surges in cases would force the county to return to a stay-at-home order.

Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health, said in a press release that despite the reopening of select small businesses, the transmission rate of COVID-19 remains high and she warned residents to stay safe.

“The simple fact of the matter is that if we are not more careful than we have been in the past when sectors have reopened, case counts will rise again, creating the possibility of another surge. I know we’ve been battling this virus for a year now and all of us are tired of the restrictions, but we need to continue to be vigilant for a while longer,” Ferrer said.

During a briefing Tuesday, Dr. Mark Ghaly, director of Health and Human Services for California, unveiled the formula used to create the ICU projections at the core of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy tier system.

The complex formula uses current COVID-19 cases, projected case growth, and projected COVID-19 hospital admissions to predict ICU admissions and the resulting ICU capacity in the state’s five regions.

The formula for ICU projections, revealed during a California COVID-19 briefing. (State of California)

Ghaly explained that had the state not enacted the Safer At Home order, an additional 25,000 hospitalizations could have been recorded. He also noted that the 14-day test positivity rate has declined by 33% and now rests at 9.0%.

Over the past few days, the 7-day average of deaths in L.A. County have been steadily decreasing. The ICU capacity in Southern California has risen to 33.3% after several hospitals reported zero available ICU beds and war-like conditions inside those ICUs in December.