Pasadena ignores LA County outdoor dining suspension

Move comes as businesses and some cities push back on county health department’s decision to prohibit outdoor dining for 3 weeks

(Getty, iStock)
(Getty, iStock)

Pasadena is choosing to ignore Los Angeles County’s three-week ban on outdoor dining that came in response to the spreading coronavirus.

The Pasadena City Council said it would allow restaurants to continue outdoor dining service, according to the Los Angeles Times Times. The city has its own health department and the authority to make its own policy independent of the county, although until now it has generally followed policy set by the county.

The county’s suspension of outdoor dining — which begins Wednesday — applies to restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars. The order came after the five-day average of new Covid-19 cases rose above the 4,000 that county health officials warned would trigger such new restrictions.

Separately, the state imposed a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that affects about 95 percent of the population, including residents of L.A. County.

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The L.A. County Department of Public Health ordered the outdoor dining shutdown unilaterally. Pushback includes from the business community, which worries about the impact on stores that have already been struggling during the pandemic.

The county Board of Supervisors is set to discuss the outdoor dining order on Tuesday. Santa Clarita city officials asked the board to hold a public meeting about it, and for the county’s health department to “publicly justify” the decision, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

County health officials have argued that such a shutdown has slowed the spread of cases in the past and is needed to ensure hospitals are not overwhelmed. The City of Long Beach supports the restrictions and will put a nearly identical measure in place on Wednesday night. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch