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L.A. County: 99% of inspected restaurants now following health and safety guidelines

Nearly all restaurants visited this past weekend are complying with the indoor dining ban, as well as social distancing regulations.

Written by
Stephanie Breijo

In a shockingly positive uptick from earlier reports, Los Angeles County officials found that 99 percent of local restaurants inspected over the weekend are in compliance with the most recent health and safety procedures—a startling increase from prior visits, which noted as few as 50 percent heeding requirements such as staff face masks and socially distant tables.

Inspectors checked in on 1,101 restaurants from July 3 to 5 (the first weekend of the recent order to close indoor dining rooms), and found that 99 percent of restaurants complied with restrictions that limit service to outdoor dining, takeout and delivery, and 98 percent were complying with social distancing regulations. Within those 1,101 restaurants, 99 percent of customers were wearing masks, while 82 percent of employees were wearing some form of face shields. 

The 82 bars visited were all closed, per Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders, as were the eight breweries and wineries inspected.

“Businesses and residents seem to be embracing the responsible actions that are so essential to our recovery,” L.A. County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in an address on Wednesday afternoon. “Our inspectors were out this weekend and they found significant, high rates of compliance to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and this in fact is a different picture than what we had seen earlier. I want to be clear that this is just a sample and it doesn’t give us the full picture of what’s happening all across the county, but they do show major improvements over the samples that we had seen before and we do hope that these efforts can be sustained.”

During the previous weekend’s inspections, the county found that 49 percent of bars and 33 percent of the restaurants visited weren’t properly practicing physical distancing, while workers at 54 percent of bars and 44 percent of restaurants weren’t wearing masks and face shields.

Per today’s briefing, coronavirus cases are increasing in the county, as is the rate of infection—as are ICU stays and a need for ventilators. L.A. County restaurants, and those in nearly half the counties in the state of California, are still outlawed from allowing dine-in service and will be for at least the next two weeks due to the pandemic’s statewide surge.

“My message to all of us who call L.A. County our home today is a plea to keep up the good work that our inspectors saw out there over the holiday weekend,” Dr. Ferrer said. “Continue to avoid the three ‘C’s’: crowds, confined spaces, and close contact with people you don’t live with. Stay home, if you can, as much as possible.”

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