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LA County suspends outdoor dining at restaurants as coronavirus rises

LA County public health officials announced Sunday that they will issue an order suspending outdoor dining at restaurants amid a wave of new cases of coronavirus.

The new rule comes into force at 22 Wednesday and limits restaurants along with breweries, wineries and bars to pick-up and delivery only for the first time since May. They will remain in place for at least three weeks, officials said.

Wineries and breweries can continue retail operations.

“The persistently high number of cases requires additional security measures that limit mixing in settings where people do not wear masks,”

; Barbara Ferrer, health director at LA County, said in a statement.

“We hope individuals continue to support restaurants, breweries and wineries by ordering for pickup or delivery. We also sincerely hope that every resident of LA County supports all of our businesses by following the public health directives that we know work to curb the spread. ”

Officials had warned earlier this week that the new rules would be imposed if the five-day average of new cases reached 4,000, or if hospital admissions peaked at 1,750 per day. Day.

The five-day average had reached 4,097 by Sunday, the Department of Public Health said. There were 1,473 confirmed coronavirus patients in LA County hospitals as of Saturday, an increase of approx. 92% from a month before.

Officials reported 2,718 new cases of the virus and nine deaths on Sunday.

“While I know our number of cases is growing rapidly, I would rather have discussed this measure openly during our Supervisory Board meeting so that the public can understand the rationale behind it,” County Superintendent Janice Hahn said in a statement.

“Some of these restaurants are hardly connected. I hope this is not the last nail in their coffins. I wish we could have figured out a way to set more restrictions than closing the dining room down completely. ”

The pace of new coronavirus cases began to pick up late last month. They are now accelerating even faster than they did in July, when new cases and admissions both peaked in LA County, officials said.

Health officials have blamed a number of factors, including holidays, sports championships, protest demonstrations, an increase in both social gatherings and outbreaks in the workplace and a general feeling of fatigue when it comes to following the rules.

They urge everyone to stay home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks to stem the rising tide of infections and avoid overwhelming the health care system with an increase in admissions.

LA County could face even stricter rules to curb the spread of the virus if the five-day average number of cases continues to rise and peaks 4,500, or if admissions grow to more than 2,000 per year. Today, officials said.

In that case, officials plan to impose a three-week home order that allows only important workers and those who purchase important services to leave their homes.

Earlier this week, LA County announced that non-essential businesses will close at 6 p.m. 22 and further limit their maximum capacity during opening hours.

Government Gavin Newsom also introduced an amended home-home order that went into effect Saturday and remains in place until December 21st. The executive order prohibits most non-significant activity outside the home from kl. 22 to kl. purple, part of the state’s four-phase reopening plan. About 94% of the state’s population lives in purple counties, including all of Southern California.

Some residents have chafed over the new restrictions across the state – though most Southern California law enforcement agencies said they do not plan to enforce them.

One minute after the governor’s order went into effect Saturday night, about 200 protesters, many wearing bright red caps and waving American flags, gathered at Huntington Beach Pier.

It came a day after Orange County reported its highest number of days of new coronavirus cases, with 1,169 new cases registered Friday.

On Sunday, Orange County reported 552 new cases of the virus and three deaths, bringing the total to 69,694 cases and 1,554 deaths. Admissions continued to increase and reached 380 patients, an increase of approx. 126% from a month before.

Protesters are also gathered in LA County. A protest Friday outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence was dubbed the “Curfew Protest Block Party: No More Lockdowns.” Another is expected Sunday afternoon outside the mayor’s home.

Times co-author Rosanna Xia contributed to this report.

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