LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – California Governor Gavin Newsom has shut down restaurants citing 4,097 new COVID-19 cases, however just 3% of those cases, according to records released by Los Angeles County health officials can be traced back to restaurants. Those that have been traced back are at national chain restaurants and not mom and pop operations.
According to that report, outbreaks have been traced back to chain restaurants Subway, Burger King, Panda Express, McDonald’s, Jack in the Box and Domino’s Pizza. Most of the infections were traced back to commercial workplaces.
Still, the state blamed restaurants and bars for the increase in cases despite the raw data from health officials to the contrary.
Newsom’s office issued the following press release:
As new COVID-19 cases remain at alarming levels and the number of people hospitalized continue to increase, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified to restrict dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars as the five-day average of new cases increased to more than 4,000 cases. The modified order will take effect Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00 p.m.
Today, Public Health has confirmed 9 new deaths and 2,718 new cases of COVID-19. Currently, the five-day average is 4,097 new cases.
To reduce the possibility for crowding and the potential for exposures in settings where people are not wearing their face coverings, restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will only be able to offer take-out, drive thru, and delivery services. Wineries and breweries may continue their retail operations adhering to current protocols. In person dining will not be allowed, at minimum, for the next 3 weeks.
Last week, Los Angeles County established thresholds for additional actions if the five-day average of cases is 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, to restrict in-person dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars.
If the five-day average of cases is 4,500 or more or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a Targeted Safer at Home Order will be issued for three weeks. The Order would offer additional restrictions while allowing essential and emergency workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes.
There are 1,401 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 26% of these people are in the ICU. Over the past 7 days, the number of hospitalized patients increased by nearly 35%.
Public Health reminds everyone to stay home as much as possible for the next two to three weeks to change the trajectory of surging cases and save lives. COVID-19 can be unintentionally spread to other people unless we all practice the simple safety precautions that prevents spread. Virus transmission can be significantly reduced if we all keep distance from others who we don’t live with, always wear a face covering properly over our nose and mouth, and wash our hands frequently.
Additionally, it is very important that if you are even mildly sick or think you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 that you stay home and away from other people, especially those at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and consider being tested for COVID-19.
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.”
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov. www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.