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los-angeles-closes-restaurants-bars-coronavirus_.jpg Howard Kingsnorth / Stone
Los Angeles restaurants now can only rely on takeout/delivery and drive-thru service as the pandemic worsens.

Los Angeles County shuts down outdoor dining as COVID-19 cases surge

As the five-day average of coronaviruas cases increases to more than 4,000, restaurants can only offer delivery, takeout, and drive-thru

Los Angeles County is shutting down outdoor dining in restaurants effective Wed., Nov 25 at 10 p.m., as the five-day average of COVID-19 cases grows to more than 4,000, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed on Sunday. Restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries in Los Angeles can now only offer takeout, delivery and drive-thru service for at least the next three weeks, while indoor dining rooms never reopened in the county during the coronavirus crisis.

The news broke the week after the county released new thresholds for additional restrictions that officials had said would go into effect if the five-day average peaked past 4,000 cases or more and hospitalizations at 1,750 or more per day. Currently, the five-day average is 4,097 and the Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed that the county had nine new deaths and 2,718 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

“The persistent high number of cases requires additional safety measures that limit mixing in settings where people are not wearing masks,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement. “We hope individuals continue to support restaurants, breweries and wineries by ordering for take-out or delivery. 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.”

This decision comes on the heels of multiple states and cities placing more restrictions in place as COVID-19 cases surge around the country. San Francisco shut down indoor dining on Nov. 13 after a 250% spike in cases. Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney announced a ban on indoor dining on Nov. 16 from Nov. 21 through the end of 2020.

States that have recently enacted limitations and restrictions on dining include Oregon, which ordered a two-week freeze on most activities across the state on Nov. 13, limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery-only until Dec. 2. New Mexico announced a shelter-in-place order from Nov. 13 until Dec., also prohibiting on-site dining. Washington also enacted a stay-at-home order on Nov. 15 through Dec. 14, limiting restaurants to outdoor dining and takeout/delivery. Michigan announced a three-week ban on indoor dining on Nov. 15.

On Nov. 22, there were 141,648 new coronavirus cases nationwide and 13 states had a 7-day average of more than 4,000 new cases daily, including Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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