PASADENA (CBSLA) — The city of Pasadena announced on Monday that outdoor dining will be permitted to continue, even as restaurants across L.A. County prepare to shut down to comply with the new local health orders.
“The City of Pasadena will continue to assess our COVID numbers and 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,” said city spokesperson Lisa Derderian.
Derderian said that city leaders made a relatively unanimous decision to keep the restaurants open based on current numbers. She acknowledged the hardships many business owners have gone through during this pandemic, and said that this contributed to officials’ decision.
“For every restaurant staff member, there’s a family behind that person,” Derderian said.
After reaching a 4,000 five-day daily average of cases on Sunday, the county released a health order requiring in-person dining to shut down at restaurants, wineries and breweries as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.
The city of Pasadena has its own health department, which makes it possible for it to issue different health orders than those issues by the county.
“I’m a little concerned, but at the same time I’m kind of happy for Pasadena,” one person told CBS2.
Although the L.A. County Board of Supervisors signed off on the new restrictions before they were released, Supervisor Kathryn Barger said on Monday that she plans to formally oppose the elimination of in-person dining.
“These proposed measures by the Department of Public Health will further devastate local businesses and employees who have been asked to shoulder an unfair burden this year,” Barger said in a statement.
Barger said that only 10-15% of positive COVID-19 cases are related to dining with someone who tested positive. Closing outdoor dining could also create the unintended consequence of prompting more private gatherings, she said.
“Businesses have made incredible sacrifices to align with safety protocols to remain open in order to pay their bills and feed their families,” Barger said. “Increased case counts are not coming from businesses reopening, but from large gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks. We aren’t helpless in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and can protect ourselves and our neighbors by maintaining physical distancing and wearing face coverings.”
Board member Janice Hahn also expressed concern about the ban on in-person dining.
“While I know our case counts are growing rapidly, I would have rather discussed this measure openly during our Board of Supervisors meeting so that the public could understand the rationale behind it,” Hahn tweeted. “Some of these restaurants are barely hanging on. I hope this isn’t the last nail in their coffins. I wish we could have figured out a way to put in more restrictions rather than completely shutting down dining.”