Long Beach Bars Are Opening, But Not Others in L.A. County

While Los Angeles County has cleared the way for breweries and wineries without in-house kitchens to offer outdoor service in partnership with a third-party food provider, customers must make “a prior reservation for a table at least one day in advance” to get a seat. According to the L.A. County Health Department, the advance-reservation mandate in meant “to ensure there is no gathering and sufficient area for physical distancing of 6 feet or more.”

Operating hours for the breweries and wineries are limited to 11:30 a.m. until midnight.

Owners of Southland breweries that don’t operate their own kitchens lobbied hard for the right to reopen, provided they partner with a catering company or food truck to offer meals. They contended it was unfair to treat them differently from breweries that serve their own food, insisting their operations could be operated just as safely.

However, bars in West Hollywood and across the county remain closed, except in Long Beach, which this week allowed them to reopen with outdoor operations if they partner with a third-party food provider and link all alcohol sales to food purchases. Long Beach has its own health department separate from the county’s.

Health officials appeared reticent to allow the breweries to open, since they are primarily alcohol operations, but a divided county Board of Supervisors last week approved a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn allowing breweries and wineries to reopen. Hahn’s motion included an advance reservation requirement, but did not specify how long in advance reservations would need to be made.

The apparent opposition of health officials to the brewery openings is made clear in the guidance released Tuesday authorizing their operation, with the first sentence stating, “This order is directed solely by the Board of Supervisors.”

The county Department of Public Health’s daily news release providing updated COVID-19 case numbers also makes no mention of the brewery openings, although it recaps the recent re-openings of nail salons, card rooms and outdoor playgrounds, and reminding that indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen Wednesday at 25% capacity.

The county on Tuesday announced another 30 coronavirus-related deaths, while health officials in Pasadena announced two more fatalities and Long Beach added one more. The new deaths lifted the countywide total since the pandemic began to 6,684.

Another 990 cases of the virus were also confirmed by the county, while Pasadena reported 13 and Long Beach 51. The cumulative countywide total of cases stood at 275,920.

Hospitalizations in the county related to the coronavirus were at 685 as of Tuesday, up from 674 on Monday.

“While we have seen significant improvement since the summer, daily case numbers indicate COVID-19 continues to spread across L.A. County at high enough rates to limit the reopening of businesses and schools,” public health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Tuesday. “If we work together to limit transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19 to 700 or less new cases per day, not only will the county move to a less restrictive tier that allows us to consider additional re-openings, we will save lives.”

Los Angeles County remains in the most restrictive level of the state’s four-tier economic reopening roadmap. Although the county’s testing positivity rate qualifies the county to move up to a less restrictive tier, the average number of new cases per 100,000 residents is still too high to permit a change.

As of today, the number of confirmed infections in West Hollywood has increased by two to 587. The number of people in West Hollywood who have died of COVID-19 related illnesses is still listed as five.

In Beverly Hills, the number of confirmed infections as of today is up by two to 706. The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Beverly Hills to date 12. The number of COVID-19 infection confirmed among Culver City residents has increased by three to 399. The number of deaths remains at 29. The number of infections in Hollywood has increased by three to 1,261. The number of deaths remains at 14. The Melrose neighborhood’s number of infections has increased by eight to 1,983. The number of COVID-19 related deaths is 72.

Public Health has a dedicated call line for confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at 1 (833) 540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 can continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

One way the virus can be transmitted is through a cough, a sneeze or even through air that comes from the mouth when someone talks. For that reason, residents must wear face coverings when out in public and can be cited for not doing so. The citations come with a $250 fine and a $50 administrative fee.

West Hollywood residents with questions about the COVID-19 pandemic or who are looking for resources to deal with it can find answers on the City of West Hollywood’swebsite. Here is a list of links to sections about particular subjects and issues:

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
RENTERS RESOURCES
RESIDENT RESOURCES
UTILITY ASSISTANCE
SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES
LABOR AND WORKFORCE RESOURCES
OLDER ADULT RESOURCES
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
LOS ANGELES COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER
TESTING INFORMATION
HOW TO HELP
NEWS AND UPDATES
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