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After Massive Winter Surge, California Maintains the Country’s Lowest COVID-19 Rate

Plus, Cafe Demitasse in Little Tokyo closes, permanent street closures in Santa Monica, and a new milkshake at Monty’s Good Burger

California Sets June 15 Target To Fully Reopen Its Economy
Server places a beverage at a table in California restaurant
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.

In January, Los Angeles County was deep into the COVID-19 ‘Thanksgiving Bump’ where on-site dining was restricted, ICUs were overflowing, and infection rates were the highest in the country. Only four months later, federal numbers show California as the lowest of any state, writes the Los Angeles Times.

In early January, LA County’s daily average hovered around 15,000 new cases and 250 deaths, while in late December, ICU beds availability dropped to zero percent in the region. The Wall Street Journal reports that LA’s positivity rate is at or below one percent, with fewer than 500 total patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of late April. Though more residents are receiving vaccinations, California Health and Human Services secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly offered caution by recommending that people continue to dine outdoors.

In other news:

  • Cafe Demitasse announced via Instagram it will close its Little Tokyo location on May 2.
  • Los Angeles Times photojournalist Wally Skalij captured the action at the Avenue 26 night market.
  • This summer, Santa Monica City Council might make Main Street’s closures permanent from Pico to Pier Avenue. The increased foot traffic would be a huge boost for the restaurants. The Santa Monica Daily Press has the full story.
  • Vegan burger joint Monty’s Good Burger added two new brightly-colored milkshakes to the menu. Both have the same citrus flavor, and celebrate the music group Brockhampton’s new album release — who are Monty’s regulars — Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine. Proceeds from this partnership go to LA Animal Services.