Business, News

L.A. County Suspends Dining Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

In-person dining will be suspended in L.A. County for at least three weeks. | Photo courtesy of Old Town Monrovia on Facebook

As new COVID-19 cases remain at alarming levels and the number of people hospitalized continue to increase, Los Angeles County will suspend dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars as the five-day average of new cases increased to more than 4,000 cases. The change will take effect Wednesday at 10 p.m.

“To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in statement. “Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols. In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next three weeks.”

Last week, Los Angeles County warned of additional actions if the five-day average of cases reached 4,000 or more or hospitalizations reached more than 1,750 per day. On Sunday, the county’s five-day average was 4,097 new cases.

A curfew has been in place for restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments since Friday.

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health announced a curfew requiring that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the Purple Tier, the most restrictive tier on the state’s recovery blueprint.

“The persistent high number of cases requires additional safety measures that limit mixing in settings where people are not wearing masks. We hope individuals continue to support restaurants, breweries and wineries by ordering for take-out or delivery,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “We also fervently hope every L.A. County resident supports all our businesses by following the Public Health directives that we know work to slow spread. Unfortunately, if our cases and hospitalizations continue to increase, we will need to issue further restrictions to protect our healthcare system and prevent more deaths.”

If the five-day average of cases rises to 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, the county will be placed under a stay-at-home order for three weeks. The order would offer additional restrictions while allowing essential and emergency workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.

With Congress on Thanksgiving recess without having passed a pandemic stimulus bill, financial assistance may be weeks away for an industry that was already struggling to survive with modified outdoor dining.

November 23, 2020

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