L.A. County bans all in-person dining as coronavirus cases rise


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — One-third of all restaurants in the state of California are located in Los Angeles County, according to the California Restaurant Association.

So the move to shut down all in-person dining is a huge blow. Although there is county in-fighting over the order which is set to take effect Wednesday night. 

“I feel like the goal line keeps moving and I also feel like the rules of the game keep changing. And that they have all these hoops for us to jump through, and we jump through them at our own expense,” said Christy Vega Fowler, Owner Casa Vega.

Vega, who owns Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks fears her family’s restaurant may not survive into a 66th year.

Like many establishments, tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), tents and heaters — all to accommodate more outdoor dining.

With coronavirus cases on the rise, on Monday L.A. County has been ordered to suspend all in-person dining by Wednesday, 10 p.m. local time. Many restaurants in the area are operating with a sense of dread, saying takeout and delivery only will not be enough to make ends meet.

Meanwhile patrons were out Monday in shows of support.

“It’s sad if some places are gonna close because they can’t be open for business. But we are in a pandemic and something has to be done. It’s just a really unfortunate situation,” said Tammi Pernoud, restaurant patron.

“We were gonna be out for lunch for Thanksgiving and now that’s canceled so we wanted to get out before that just for support so here we are,” said Duvian Ho, restaurant patron.

Health officials had warned of another shutdown if the county’s five-day average of COVID-19 cases topped 4,000.

It happened Sunday as the county recorded 4,097.

However, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger is publicly opposing the health department and calling the shutdown unnecessary.

In a statement, Barger said that “increased case counts are not coming from businesses reopening, but from large gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks.”

Barger plans to argue against the order at a Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

AOC Wine Bar owner Caroline Styne says that many independent establishments have been operating at a loss.

“For all of us who’ve been taking out big financial hits since the beginning, this could be the nail in the coffin for many, many restaurants,” said Caroline Styne, Owner, AOC Wine Bar.”

The shutdown of in-person dining could mean about 700,000 job losses in the L.A. food industry.

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