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County’s transition to yellow tier expands capacity for local businesses

By: Dianna Mojica and Rachel Matta 

With Los Angeles County officially entering the yellow tier for COVID-19 guidelines over a week ago, Santa Clarita saw an increase in capacity modifications within Six Flags theme parks as well as other nonessential businesses. 

Photo Courtesy of ABC News

Upon LA County’s transition into the yellow tier, capacity modifications within theme parks, bars, and restaurants have been increased as cases of COVID-19 continue to decline. 

As a result of the transition, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Santa Clarita is scheduled to reopen to the public on May 15, in accordance with LA County reopening guidelines within the yellow tier. 

“As someone who’s worked at Six Flags for a couple years, it is so refreshing to finally get back to work,” said Kate Manners, a ride operator at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. “Dozens of procedures have been put in place to keep guests safe, ranging from health screenings to social distancing.”

Six Flags promotes social distancing amid transition into the yellow tier. Photo Courtesy of KHTS Radio

Procedures include various protocols for the safe operation of rides, health screenings for guests and team members, strictly enforced social distancing, sanitization and disinfection protocols, sanitized food preparation and service, and extensive training of team members in regards to COVID-19, according to a statement from Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. 

“I had my worries about returning to work due to the coronavirus,” said Manners. “After seeing everything Six Flags has done to limit coronavirus transmission, I’m excited to have a safe summer after feeling like last year’s summer never existed.”

With theme parks reopening, restaurant capacities continue to increase, but not all Santa Clarita residents are on board with the idea. 

“I feel for everyone who feels isolated by social distancing, but I worry that people assume that they can stomp their feet and not have to be impacted by a pandemic,” said John Stich, a food service worker at the California Institute of the Arts. “As restrictions continue to loosen, I hope Santa Clarita residents choose to get vaccinated and consider those around them who could be high risk.”

The CalArts community has been working to prepare plans for an on-campus return for the fall semester, according to a statement from the school.

As the first county in Southern California to reach the yellow tier since the implementation of the color-coded reopening system, LA County is able to expand its capacities at a plethora of businesses, including restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, amusement parks, sports venues, and museums, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH). 

“This has been a long and difficult journey and we are so heartened to arrive at this latest milestone,” read a statement from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “Entering the yellow tier means we have reached the next-to-last stage before fully reopening.” 

LA County earned its place in the yellow tier by having less than two daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, allowing increased capacity modifications for local businesses. 

Graphic showing COVID-19 tiers in California. Photo Courtesy of covid19.ca.gov

With LA County trailblazing into the yellow tier, California is on track to fully reopen its economy and potentially end its mask mandate by June 15, according to a statement from the LADPH. 

“This is another welcome sign we are moving toward a safe and healthy new normal,” read a statement from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “One that is guided by hope rather than fear.”

For more information on LA County’s progress, click here.

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