The City of Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl, will not be forcing restaurants and small businesses to shut down for three weeks despite the Los Angeles County order.
According to KTLA, the City of Pasadena has its own health department and therefore makes its own decisions regarding health directives. While no formal vote took place, the city council unanimously agreed to assess the situation daily.
“The City of Pasadena will continue to assess its COVID numbers, work closely with Huntington Hospital and give as much advance notice as possible if the City’s Order is going to change in any respect,” city spokesperson Lisa Derderian said in a written statement to the outlet.
“We need to balance our growing numbers and the economic hardship of restaurant personnel,” she added. “Behind every employee is a family and in many cases they are the sole providers. It’s imperative everyone follows the rules to slow this surge otherwise a State directive could supersede our local Orders.”
Over the weekend, Los Angeles County announced that it would be shutting down all in-person dining at restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries for at least another three weeks.
“The county had previously warned that if the five-day average number of cases reached 4,000 or more, or if hospitalizations surpassed 1,750 per day, all outdoor and indoor dining would be prohibited,” the outlet reported.
The LAist reported that the order goes into effect at 10 p.m. 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 backward, sometimes investing thousands of dollars into making their establishments “COVID-friendly,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the lone Republican, said she will oppose the order, arguing that it 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.