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Local Restaurant Owners Worried They Could Be Forced to Close Dining Areas Again

Newsom ready to 'enforce' guidelines

Published on Monday, June 29, 2020 | 4:18 pm
 

Local restaurant owners said a further rollback forcing them to close their dining areas like the one issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday that forced bars to reclose would be disastrous.

“If that happens, in my opinion, the whole economy, the whole retail in California is teetering on the brink of disaster,” said Gregg Smith, who co-owns Smitty’s, Parkway Grill and Arroyo Chop House.

Pasadena has seen an increase in numbers over the past two weeks. On Monday, 30 new cases were reported — the highest single-day increase in more than a month.

The local increase is part of a massive surge in cases across the state. On Monday, LA County set a new record when 2,903 cases of the Coronavirus were reported along with 22 fatalities.

The surge has local health officials concerned about a greater spread.

“There has been a significant, steady increase over the past two weeks in the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Pasadena, L.A. County, and CA,” said city Health Director Dr. Ying Ying Goh. “We are concerned that unless there is a change in the way people are conducting business and socializing, local hospital capacity could be exceeded, and more people will be at risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 and other medical conditions.”

As of Monday, 53 patients infected with the Coronavirus are convalescing at Huntington Hospital.

In total, 31 states have rolled back their reopening. Officials in Arizona ordered a partial 30-day shutdown on Monday.

On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new order shuttering bars.

According to County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer restaurants and bars continued over the weekend to struggle to fully adhere to all of the safety protocols for operating.

She said of the establishments visited by inspectors over the weekend, 49 percent of bars and 33 percent of restaurants were failing to meet physical distancing requirements. She said 54 percent of bars and 44 percent of restaurants were violating the requirement that workers wear face masks and shields.

Newsom called for enforcement of state guidelines and said more restrictive measures could be coming.

“I am committed to intervening,” he said.

Local restaurant owners said they couldn’t afford to shut down.

“I think that the two concerns for any business right now, one obviously is that we’re going to end up getting shut down again,” said Michael Osborne, who owns Pie ‘N’ Burger.

Osborne said his staff is practicing social distancing and are wearing masks and face shields.

Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little said he doesn’t see a rollback on restaurants at this point.

“The next roll back would be basically out, I would imagine, would be out of stage three back to stage two, which means no in store shopping, no in restaurant dining and all that, but that’s a big step to take at this point.”

Goh said it is really important for businesses to follow public health protocols, available on the city’s website, to keep risk of COVID-19 as low as possible for customers and employees.

“At this time, everyone should stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds, and do not socialize with anyone outside of your household,” Goh said.
“When people do go out for essential functions, they should wear cloth face coverings and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, preferably more, from others.”

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