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ICU Capacity Has Dropped to Zero Percent in All of Southern California

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Plus, a GoFundMe for Delicias Bakery, SoCal’s expanding food halls, and a custom coffee gift

US-HEALTH-VIRUS Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

On Thursday, officials released new numbers that illustrate a stunning look at coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths throughout California. The levels are particularly distressing in LA County, where ICU bed availability for coronavirus patients dropped from 0.5 percent to zero in less than a day.

Thursday quickly turned into a startling day of realizations. LA County’s health department reported more than 102 deaths and 14,418 new cases of COVID-19, LA mayor Eric Garcetti is now self-isolating after his nine-year-old daughter tested positive for the virus, while hospitals have become so strained that Orange County’s emergency services director directed regional hospitals to stop turning away ambulances with sick patients, reports CBS-2.

All the while, indoor dining remains closed throughout the region, as the stay-at-home order enters its third week this Sunday. On-site dining was eliminated in LA County on November 25 for at least three weeks, and with cases and hospitalizations at ever-rising levels that will likely be extended further. On December 6, the county went into the strictest lockdown measures since March.

In other news:

  • The Los Angeles Times food section published its favorite 21 best Mexican restaurants this morning. This one is culled from the annual Times 101 list, and mapped out beloved spots like Burritos la Palma, Holbox, and Mariscos El Faro.
  • Highland Park’s Delicias Bakery launched a GoFundMe to help stay open. The family-operated business has been serving fresh juices, sandwiches, and pan dulce since opening in 1990. Donate here here to help meet their $60,000 goal.
  • Southern California keeps opening food halls during a pandemic, says LAist, even though on-site dining remains banned throughout the region. But that hasn’t stopped halls like Glendora Public Market, SocialEats Hollywood, Rodeo 39, and Culver City’s Citizen Public Market from opening this fall.
  • LA County appealed superior court judge James Chalfant’s decision yesterday. On December 8, Chalfant ruled the LA Department of Public Health and Board of Supervisors “acted arbitrarily” when deciding to close outdoor dining back on November 25. The county filed the appeal yesterday, and Los Angeles Times has the details.
  • On Thursday, Tastemade announced today that it acquired ChefsFeed, according to The Spoon. Tastemade produced shows like Broken Bread with Roy Choi.
  • For the holidays, Hollywood’s Tiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen put together a gift option for a customized bag of coffee beans. Select a preferred blend, and pick a colorful bag, and a personalized printed label for $16. Orders can be placed online or in person, and ships anywhere in the continental US for $5.
Tiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen in Hollywood’s custom coffee bag that says “Dina’s Coping Mechanism”
Tiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen’s custom coffee bag
Courtesy of Tiago Coffee Bar + Kitchen