With Los Angeles County reporting record highs for daily new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, public health officials continue to urge residents to remain indoors as much as possible to combat the recent surge. “Unfortunately, where we are and where we are headed is alarming,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said on Wednesday, adding that the positivity rate now stands at 12.5%. That figure was 3.5% in early November. The county broke its record for daily new cases five times last week and has averaged nearly 8,700 the past three days, including 9,243 new cases on Wednesday. There had been 305 cases reported so far in La Cañada Flintridge as of Wednesday. The Department of Public Health reported 267 cases the previous week.
Michel LeChasseur, owner of Ma’s Italian Kitchen in Burbank, said his business is on its last legs. He also said his restaurant is one of the lucky ones. LeChasseur said the eatery, which made much of its revenue from its catering services to production studios, is bringing in less than a third of what it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to slash employees’ hours and lay off 14 of his 22 workers. He added that he even chose to forgo his own salary so he could keep paying his workers; his husband’s job is keeping them both afloat. Still, LeChasseur learned to adjust, though he watched eight friends lose their restaurants during the pandemic. He spread out tables on his restaurant’s patio and bought Plexiglas shields to protect customers. His servers wore gloves and two layers of masks. As the colder months approached, he purchased heaters.
Los Angeles County this week delivered yet another blow to the restaurant industry by announcing the suspension of in-person dining outdoors, and officials later rebuffed an effort to reverse the move, while more restrictions were likely on the way as the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues to climb. Outdoor dining, which had been permitted since July, has been suspended for restaurants, breweries and wineries after an alarming surge of coronavirus cases throughout the county; indoor dining at eateries has long been banned. Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed a curfew for all nonessential businesses and gatherings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. late last week.
The Pasadena City Council will hold a committee meeting on Thursday to further discuss a regulated reopening of local businesses, keeping in step with Gov. Gavin Newsom who announced on Monday the state is ready to move into a “Phase 2” of restrictions put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Continue reading “With Eye on COVID-19 Cases, City to Debate Slow Reopen”