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When Will LA County Lift Its Ongoing Pandemic Mask Mandate?

Plus, a new owner for a troubled Arts District space, and the uncertain future of Mexico’s biggest wine region.

LA To Require Masks For Everyone Indoors As Delta Variant Rages
A worker wearing a mask outside at a restaurant.

LA County’s current indoor mask mandate has been in place since mid-July 2021, just one month after the state rescinded most of its coronavirus-related requirements for diners, bar and restaurant owners, and nearly every other (vaccinated) person. During that short maskless window the Delta variant began to wash over the region, leading to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations; hence the masks once again. Now, with Delta cases having dropped precipitously and county hospitals seeing reduced caseloads and increased vaccination rates, many are beginning to wonder when the masks can come off again at indoor settings like restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms.

This week, per the LA Times, county public health officials laid out a framework that answers that very question. To reach even the possibility of going maskless indoors, Los Angeles County must have at least three consecutive weeks of: low to moderate coronavirus transmission, as laid out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 600 or fewer COVID hospitalizations across the county. LA must also see at least 80 percent of residents 12 and older be fully vaccinated (72 percent of the county is fully vaccinated currently, but 80 percent have received at least one dose), and there must be no new variants of note out in the world that could “threaten vaccine efficacy,” says the Times. That’s all to say: It’s going to be a little while, particularly on the transmission rate, though hospitalizations are almost to needed levels and vaccines have been slowly but stubbornly ticking up.

A change up in the Arts District

The former Simone space in the Arts District (and its upstairs offices that once belonged to the Russo Brothers directing and producing duo) has been sold to Live Nation, per a social media post announcing the sale by District Realty Group. There’s no word yet as to how, or if, the ground floor restaurant space will be used.

Food hall updates for the Eastside

Lincoln Heights is getting its own food hall sometime in the coming years, reports The Eastsider. The ground-floor project is part of a long-discussed mixed-use development going in along Main Street between Hancock and Johnston streets, and will also include nearly 100 low-income residential units.

A wine scene at risk?

Northwestern Mexico’s bustling Valle de Guadalupe wine region is facing an almost existential crisis of growth, says the LA Times in a podcast with Gustavo Arellano, Javier Cabral, and chef Javier Plascencia who operates projects in the region.

Tons of Santa Monica news to know

Santa Monica’s Pacific Dining Car won’t be reopening as a restaurant of any kind, reports Toddrickallen, as paperwork up at the Wilshire Boulevard property shows a planned permit change to bring in a veterinary office instead.

Meanwhile Los Feliz butcher shop and takeaway McCall’s Meat & Fish has reportedly inked a deal to open a second location at 1426 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Not far away, Wake & Late is reportedly taking a space at 411 Santa Monica Boulevard in the former Mainland Poke space, with an opening for the breakfast burrito company expected in late-ish 2022.

The Pie Hole circles up in Anaheim

The Pie Hole, the famed savory and sweet pie plus coffee shop known for its multiple locations around Los Angeles, is opening up on Saturday November 13 at the Anaheim Packing District in Orange County. The food hall setup will be the ninth location for company, and comes on the group’s 10-year anniversary.

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