MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA) — City officials with Manhattan Beach ordered tables and chairs removed from public areas and restaurants late Sunday, after COVID-19 cases in the city nearly doubled in the last two months.
The coronavirus case count went from 425 on November 1 to 821 on January 2, the city said in a statement Saturday.
The seating areas were built on platforms in city streets at a time when restaurants were banned from serving people indoors but were allowed to do so outdoors.
As the number of infections increased, Los Angeles County health authorities banned restaurants from serving outdoor diners, but Manhattan Beach allowed people to use those same seating areas while technically meeting the county restrictions.
Currently, restaurants are only allowed to do takeout and delivery options due to a stay-at-home order.
The order was originally supposed to be three weeks but has since been extended because ICU capacity at hospitals is currently at zero percent for the Southern California region.
“ICU capacity is not improving in Southern California. Demand will continue to exceed capacity,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary.
The region will be able to be released from the order when ICU capacity is at or above 15 percent. The exact date of when this might happen is unclear.
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