LA County ordered to shut indoor dining for 3 weeks as Covid cases climb

Governor says he wants to “toggle back on our stay-at-home order and tighten things up”

An illustration of Gov. Gavin Newsom (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
An illustration of Gov. Gavin Newsom (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With coronavirus cases on the rise again, Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered Los Angeles County to shut indoor dining at restaurants for three weeks, another blow to business owners following the recent reopenings.

Newsom’s order on Wednesday took effect immediately and includes 19 counties throughout the state, according to the Los Angeles Times. The governor also ordered movie theaters to close, along with wineries, zoos and museums, all of which had been recently reopened.

Restaurants will be restricted to takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining, according to Eater. Restaurants reopened for limited capacity indoor dining at the end of May, about a month ago. They were first ordered to close in mid-March in response to a spreading coronavirus.

The move follows a similar directive in New York City on Wednesday, where officials slammed the brakes on a planned indoor dining reopening that had been only days away.

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Rising cases of Covid-19 and hospitalizations in L.A. County are reversing what had been a steady pace of reopenings in L.A. County. Bars were open for just 10 days before Newsom ordered them to close again on Monday. That followed a county announcement that revealed about half of the bars and a third of restaurants had not been abiding by social distancing measures over the last several days. It also found that more than half the employees at bars and nearly that many at  restaurants were not wearing face masks, according to the Times.

L.A. County officials also closed beaches for the Fourth of July weekend, which some had feared could bring a wave of infections.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health reported 2,779 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, making it the third straight day with more than 2,100 new cases reported. [LAT, Eater] — Dennis Lynch