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LA County’s Outdoor Dining Resumes on Friday, But Pasadena Started Early

The Northeast LA city chose to follow its own rules after Gov. Newsom recalled the stay-at-home order

Bone Kettle Restaurant during Covid-19 Robert Gauthier/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

When California Gov. Gavin Newsom repealed the COVID-19 stay-at-home order Monday, January 25, outdoor dining opened statewide after a months-long lapse — subject to individual decisions by county. LA County announced that it would reopen for on-site outdoor dining on Friday, January 29, though local restaurants must wait until later this week as the health department issues a new health order with guidelines for restaurants. But that’s not the case for Pasadena, which allowed restaurants to immediately reopen outdoor dining on the same day as Newsom’s announcement.

A statement on the City of Pasadena website notes that outdoor dining resumed on Monday afternoon. Restaurants are now open for takeout, delivery, and on-site outdoor seating. The new state order applies to wineries and breweries as well: wineries can operate outdoors, but bars and breweries must remain closed, regardless of the jurisdiction.

LA County’s Department of Public Health does not preside over all cities within its borders, and Pasadena is one of them. Pasadena director of public health Dr. Ying-Ying Goh runs the northeast LA department, which regularly steers away from LA County guidance. Since November, Pasadena allowed restaurants to maintain their outdoor seating areas, despite the former state ban on public gatherings and on-site restaurant dining. Up until its full reopening on Monday, diners were able to order food and sit down to eat, as long as waitstaff did not provide service in that space.

Surrounding counties also chose a similar immediate path as Pasadena. Restaurants in Ventura County can resume outdoor dining immediately, reports the Ventura County Star. As of this week, Southern California’s overall intensive care bed availability remains at 0 percent. State officials project the region’s hospitalizations will rise to 33.3 percent by February 21.

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