Restaurants will be limited to take-out only as of 10 p.m. Wednesday under a newly released order from Los Angeles County.
Restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services for a minimum of three weeks.
The new restrictions are the the second step county officials have taken in the past week to control surging COVID-19 cases. County officials previously limited outdoor dining to 50% of capacity, indoor retail to 25% capacity and there is a statewide order mandating all non-essential businesses close from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m.
County officials stepped up the restrictions and ordered the closure of all in person dining when the five day average for new cases crossed 4,000. As of Sunday, the average was 4,097. If the case count or hospitalization rate continues to grow, the final step in the county response plan would be a second lockdown.
On Sunday, the county’s Public Health Department said there are 1,401 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 26% of these people are in the ICU. Over the past seven days, the number of hospitalized patients increased by nearly 35%.
To date, Public Health identified 364,520 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,438 deaths. Testing results are available for more than 3,542,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
“As we modify our Thanksgiving holiday celebrations, we are reminded of the many families who will miss their loved ones who have passed away from COVID-19. We send wishes for healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “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. 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.”
Santa Monica has reported 1,377 cases.