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LA County Again Requests Masks Indoors as Delta Coronavirus Variant Grows

Plus, Calabama’s bucket drop breakfast sandwich comes to West Hollywood for a day, and new mask rules are now in place at Disneyland

Ontario Eases Virus Restrictions As Vaccinations Gain Traction
A worker in a mask taking orders at a restaurant
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials are once again strongly recommending that people in mixed group indoor settings wear masks, as the most recent (and most transmissible) Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread across the state. Per the LA Times, the mask recommendation is, so far, just that: a recommendation, not a mandate or public health order, aimed at stopping or at least slowing the spread of the Delta variant within Los Angeles County.

The Delta variant, which emerged in India, has been shown to be nearly twice as transmissible as earlier coronavirus variants, but officials believe that the new strain poses little health risk to fully vaccinated people. Instead, it’s unvaccinated people, including the immunocompromised (who are not able to be vaccinated) and children, who are most at risk. While more than three in five Californians are well on their way to full vaccination status, the Delta variant has been pushing up the state’s overall seven-day positivity rate.

So where and when should one wear a mask now, if trying to abide by County public health officers’ wishes? It’s hard to say with certainty, in part because officials are only making general recommendations, but the main focus, for now, is on large-scale indoor retail environments like grocery stores and shopping centers, where the vaccination status of those in crowds is unknown. Should public health officials draft an official order requiring masks again in indoor settings, it would likely have serious effects across the greater restaurant and hospitality industry in Southern California, which only just dropped its pandemic-era protocols two weeks ago.

In other news:

  • Disneyland will no longer require fully vaccinated employees to wear face coverings outdoors, says ABC 7.
  • The Bell’s team from Los Alamos, California is continuing their summer tour around greater Los Angeles, showing off new dishes and drinks from upcoming Los Olivos, California sophomore project Bar Le Côte. Next up: a collaboration at All Day Baby in Silver Lake, running Monday, July 5 and Tuesday, July 6.
  • Soft serve ice cream specialist CVT has a new CVTeeny (small soft serve machines that look like their food trucks). The latest is selling out of Mutt’s in Newport Beach, California.
  • Focaccia sandwich pop-up Bread Head, started by two former Trois Mec cooks, is now going permanent-ish in Beverly Hills, landing inside of the existing Otra Dia Tacos at 9909 S. Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Lucky’s in Malibu has launched lunch, running daily on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile Wood & Salt Tavern in Long Beach has a new liquor license to go along with its new chef in Philip Mack, who joins the group — also known for Wirtshaus and Rasselbock — after working as chef de cuisine for Fig & Olive in Newport Beach.
  • Here’s your chance to try Calabama, the bucket-drop breakfast sandwich sensation out of East Hollywood. The underground spot is popping up at Employees Only in collaboration with Off the Menu on July 3, running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. only.