Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected deliver a coronavirus briefing at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday as the region prepares for broader reopening on the anniversary of the first COVID-19 death in L.A. County.
The county currently remains in the most-restrictive purple tier of reopening, but it has met the metrics required for the red tier and is expected to advance in the state system next Wednesday, provided test positivity and case rates stay below the threshold.
Under the state tier system counties in the red are allowed to open indoor dining, movie theaters and gyms with limited capacity. But L.A. County health officials say they are still drawing up their reopening guidelines, which can differ from the state’s.
Also on Wednesday, COVID-19 was named the leading cause of death in L.A. County, claiming twice as many lives in the past year as heart disease, the previous leading cause of death.
But officials say the county is still on the right track toward better containing the virus. The daily increase in new cases is at its lowest point since last April, with an average of less than 700 cases a day.
Hospitalizations and deaths are also down, although the average number of daily fatalities remains above what it was in early November.
Progress in vaccinations, meanwhile, remains complicated by lack of supply. The county said it received its largest shipment of doses yet this week, but supply is expected to tighten in the coming weeks due to a shortage of Johnson & Johnson shots.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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