With Governor Newsom rescinding state stay-at-home orders on Monday, L.A. County officials announced that outdoor dining and personal care services will reopen.

The restriction rollbacks come amidst the promising news that the statewide surge in cases is slowing down. Average daily cases peaked in L.A. County at over 15,000 on Jan. 8 and dropped by over 50 percent to 7,238 on Jan. 20.

LA County now returns to the color coded system in the most restrictive purple tier. However, the system does allow for the immediate opening of indoor personal care at 25 percent capacity, outdoor private gatherings of up to three households, and hotels for tourism.

On Friday County Health Officials will release an order allowing outdoor dining to reopen with occupancy limits. This order will also require non-essential businesses to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to discourage late night gathering.

“Please don’t take this news to mean that you can return to a life of normalcy,” said County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “Masks, physical distancing and limiting activities are still key to getting out of this pandemic until we can get everybody vaccinated.”

Solis urged residents to avoid gathering for the upcoming Super Bowl as large sporting events have significantly contributed to Covid surges in the past.

Community transmission remains high in Los Angeles with 6,642 new cases reported on Monday — more than double the average case count reached at the height of the summer surge. While the County isn’t out of the woods yet, all key health metrics are trending in the right direction.

On Jan. 20 the average daily positivity rate was 12.9 percent, down from 20 percent at the beginning of the month. Average daily deaths, which peaked at above 200, have now dropped to below 160.

“Hope is on the horizon, but please continue to do your part to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Director of Health Services Christina Ghaly. “Numbers in the hospitals are declining and we take that as a very positive finding, but remember they can easily and quickly go back up again if we let our guard down.”

County officials reported that 853,650 vaccine doses had been received as of Monday and 525,747 doses had been administered as of Jan. 21.

The County’s vaccine appointment system is currently booked through the end of the week, but more weekend slots will be added in the coming days, according to L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

“Our weekly shipments are significantly lower than what we need,” said Ferrer. “Our ability to vaccinate people in L.A. County remains very constrained by supplies.”

Appointment availability to receive a first dose will be limited for the next few weeks as the majority of slots will be reserved for people in need of a second dose.

“I’m advocating directly to the new president of the United States Joe Biden to send more vaccine doses to Los Angeles County as we are one of the hardest hit counties in the country,” said Solis. “Furthermore, I’m asking the president to prioritize Los Angeles County in rolling out the community vaccination centers, which will be supported by FEMA.”

Vaccines are currently being distributed to over 200 sites in L.A. County. Ferrer recommended residents visit vaccinatelacounty.com for the most up to date information on vaccine availability.

Clara@smdp.com