Business leaders and policy experts are now openly questioning California’s shut down policies and whether they are effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19, reports the Associated Press [via KTLA]. California has had a tiered system that allows certain counties to reopen businesses such as gyms, movie theaters, hair salons, and restaurants, depending on positivity rates, cases, hospitalizations, and other factors. LA County has been in the most restricted purple tier, which does not allow indoor dining for restaurants, since the system was instituted in late August. However, some are wondering whether businesses are being unfairly targeted for shut downs when cases are growing due to private social gatherings.
Evidence is mounting that events such as home gatherings, Halloween parties, and even celebrations for sports victories and President-elect Joe Biden have contributed to community transmission. Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, professor of epidemiology at UCLA, thinks it’s not that “most rational approach” to uniformly shut down businesses without contact tracing that supports the closure of those establishments. Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Francisco, says it’s like taking a “sledgehammer to the problem.”
Meanwhile, public health officials have a more difficult time managing public gatherings like sports celebrations or private events in homes. California Restaurant Association president and CEO Jot Condie looks at LA County in particular, where cases hit milestone numbers over the weekend of over 3,000 a day, even with indoor dining prohibited and many other businesses restricted from opening: “Dining rooms have been closed since March and yet you’re seeing these spikes.” Condie’s statement isn’t entirely true, though, as LA County allowed indoor dining briefly in late May before shutting it down in early July.
In other news:
- A thief was caught on camera making a pizza while he was inside a restaurant attempting to steal cash and tablets, according to NBA LA. Oscar Sanchez broke into Big Slice Pizza in Fullerton on November 8 and took the time to make himself a pizza before leaving the premises in the restaurant’s delivery car. Sanchez was later apprehended and charged with suspicion of grand theft, grand theft auto, second degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, and other crimes, according the OC Register.
- Orange County’s COVID-19 case count went up to 528 over the weekend, according to Spectrum News, which means the county, which has limited capacity indoor dining, could fall back into California’s most restricted purple tier in coming days.
- Randy’s Donuts is expanding to Torrance and Santa Monica, giving away free donuts to mark their openings, reports Time Out.
- Obica has closed in Century City, reports Toddrickallen. The casual mozzarella bar from Italy was actually the inspiration for Nancy Silverton’s Mozza when it opened over 10 years ago.
- LA Magazine has a roundup of pizza inspired by global flavors, such as Sampa’s Pizza in Marina del Rey taking cues from Brazil and 786 Degrees drawing from India in Sun Valley.