LA County Supervisor Will Oppose New Restaurant Shutdown Order

One L.A. County Supervisor has pledged to oppose the county’s new measure requiring bars and restaurants in Los Angeles to cease all dine-in services for the next three weeks.

As reported by LAist, the order goes into effect at 10 PM on Wednesday, November 25, and marks the “most stringent restrictions imposed on local dining and drinking establishments since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Given that multiple restaurant owners bent over backwards, sometimes investing thousands of dollars into making their establishments “COVID-friendly,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the lone Republican, says the new measure will unfairly punish such people.

“For me, it’s about a lack of consistency,” Barger told KPCC’s Take Two. “Our own public health director has said that more than 50% of the positives being reported are the result of private social gatherings with someone who tested positive.”

Barger said that “illegal house parties” and large social gatherings were to blame for the sudden surge in cases, not restaurants, arguing that the government should focus more on such events.

“That’s where I’m focusing and that’s who I’m holding accountable. I’m not going to sit back and say that the restaurant industry should have to shoulder the financial burden for something that is, from a health standpoint, causing this virus to spread,” Barger said.

Karen Ross, co-owner of The Tallyrand in Burbank, said the three-week ban (which may indeed last longer) will devastate her business.

“It’s debilitating to us. Our hours will be reduced. We will offer only takeout, which will take us from doing about 65% of our usual pre-COVID sales back to 30%. It’s awful, anyway you look at it,” Ross said.

“I am just completely exasperated by it because I really don’t believe, as do many other restaurant owners that I’ve talked to, that outdoor dining… we’re the source of that. It’s debilitating. I’ve got a crew of probably 24 people that I’ve got to let go or they’d have to take a furlough… I hope it’s only three weeks,” she added.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a press conference on Friday that she could not say for certain how many people were infected at a restaurant, arguing only that such venues were riskier places than others.

“Most people don’t know where they got infected… Everywhere people interact is a risk, indoor is worse than outdoor, without a mask is worse than with. Our data presents evidence that gatherings are increasing, and gatherings are one of the drivers for the increases in cases in L.A. County,” a spokesperson for Ferrer’s office said.

As America heads into the Thanksgiving holidays, state and local governments have issued varying stay-at-home orders, limiting restaurant capacity or banning in-person dining. States like Oregon and New York have gone as far to issue limits on the number of people residents can have in their private homes.

RELATED: Oregon Governor Asks Citizens To Snitch On Lockdown Violators This Thanksgiving

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