Orange County Turns YELLOW! (No thanks to “leaders” like Tito…)

In further good tidings of Orange County’s gradual but inexorable victory in the War Against Coronavirus, our State and County Overlords have today allowed us to pass into the “Minimal” Tier 4 for activities and businesses, also known as the YELLOW TIER.  What does this mean specifically, in our day-to-day lives?

Well, we explained all the nice details for you when we turned purple, when we turned red, and when we turned orange, so you may not be surprised to learn that we’re happy to do it again!  You’re welcome:

  • BARS ARE OPEN INSIDE!  (They were already open outside.)  Inside, they’re open at 50% capacity now, or 200 people whichever’s smaller.  If they sell meals, then they’re just like restaurants – 50% capacity period.  (Bars that are more full than that are too crowded anyway don’t you think?)
  • WINERIES / BREWERIES / DISTILLERIES – just like bars, 50% or 200 whichever smaller.
  • RESTAURANTS are now at 50% capacity. 
  • MOVIE THEATERS are also now at 50% capacity.
  • AMUSEMENT PARKS!  AND FAIRS!  Max 35%, Indoor max 25% with time restrictions.  In-state visitors only, and weekly worker testing program.
  • And how could we forget, WATER PARKS!!  Outdoor parks must limit visitors to a maximum of 40% capacity.  Indoor parks, pools and rides limited to a maximum of 25% capacity.  Indoor dining limited to a maximum of 50%.  Walk-up ticket sales allowed. Park operators must collect complete name and contact information (including phone number) of the ticket purchaser for necessary contact tracing.  Wow, who would have known that Water Parks were the toughest to regulate?

  • FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS (huh?) – Max 50% capacity; 75% if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination!  With modifications:  100% masking except for food and beverage service; Food/beverage consumption must be restricted to designated areas separated from activity area.
  • HOTELS AND LODGINGS are still “open with modifications,”  but Fitness Centers (50%) and Spa facilities etc. are now allowed!
  • GYMS & FITNESS CENTERS, still open with modifications, are up from 25% max capacity to 50%, and now Saunas and Steam rooms are allowed!
  • Social, informal GATHERINGS – Outdoors, up from 50 people allowed to up to 100!  (Hey, that could be most of your favorite people!)  Indoor gatherings are still discouraged, and should generally not include food/drink except within guidances, but now Max 50% capacity in settings where capacity limits exist (previously 25%) or 50 people (previously 25) whichever is fewer.
  • PRIVATE EVENTS (meetings, receptions, conferences) – Up from MAX 100 people to MAX 200 people!  And if all guests are either tested or show proof of vaccination, then 400!  
  • INDOOR SEATED LIVE EVENTS & PERFORMANCES are still only in-state visitors, weekly worker testing program & all tickets delivered digitally in advance.  But for smaller venues (under 1500 seats) MAX 25% or 300 people; 50% if tested / proof of vax!  And for larger venues (OVER 1500 seats)… 10% capacity or 2000 whatever’s fewer and NO eating or drinking, but 50% if tested / proof of vax!
  • OUTDOOR LIVE EVENTS w/ Assigned Seats & Controlled Mixing (e.g., sports and live performances) – Max 67%, includes suites with 25% occupancy per suite;  in-state visitors only; indoor concessions in designated areas!
  • CARDROOMS & SATELLITE WAGERING – open indoors w/ modifications, 50% capacity.
  • OFFICES FINALLY OPEN INSIDE – with modifications BUT you should ENCOURAGE TELEWORK.
  • And in 13 days – JUNE 1 – OVERNIGHT SLEEPAWAY CAMPS WILL BE OPEN!

So we’re on the HOME STRETCH in winning this war against the Invisible Enemy, but not quite there yet.  We only have 44.27% of OC’s population vaccinated, and we need to get up to at least 70%, preferably 80.  It’s amazing we’ve been able to come as far as we have, with all the anti-maskers and anti-vaxers holding us back, essentially helping the enemy.

Like proud know-nothing Huntington Beach Mayor Pro-Tem Tito Ortiz, who made the news once again today for defiantly sending his two sons to school without masks, and then turning his bad parenting into another political stunt.  If only there were, some day, not so many voters who care about nothing but “owning the Libs.”

We are slowly winning this war DESPITE the thousands of people like Tito.  And when the story of these times are told, these people will be known as the TORIES.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.