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As COVID-19 Cases Surge, San Luis Obispo Implements Indoor Mask Requirement

Plus, Mexican-Indian rotisserie chicken for all, and the chance to sleep in a giant potato

The Madonna Inn sign by the 101 freeway in San Luis Obispo.
The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.
Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The County of San Luis Obispo has formally implemented its own mask mandate, making the Central Coast community the latest to require masks while indoors. The order goes into effect today, September 1, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and applies to any indoor space including restaurants and retail environments, writes Bakersfield Now.

The new mandate comes this week as San Luis Obispo County records the highest number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. SLO health officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said the mask mandate would remain in effect “as long as necessary.”

As of today, 67 SLO County residents are hospitalized with severe COVID-19, including 20 in intensive care. Slightly further south, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties announced renewed indoor mask mandates in August, while Los Angeles County struggles to enforce its current indoor mask mandate.

In other news:

  • Los Angeles restaurant server and writer Sara Selevitch wrote a personal essay in the Washington Post addressing the industry’s ongoing labor shortage, sharing how many employees are not ready to return. It’s an interesting look from the perspective of a restaurant employee. Meanwhile, CBS-2 explores whether the restaurant worker shortage will end as unemployment benefits run out.
  • The joy that is Mexican rotisserie chicken is something that can never be talked about enough, as evidenced by this new LAist profile discussing delivery/pick-up-only restaurant Saucy Chick Rotisserie. They’re also at Smorgasburg every week.
  • Business Insider finds that one-third of Americans would avoid dining out if a vaccine requirement were implemented, though the same report also, somewhat confusingly, notes that 25 percent of diners would be more likely to eat indoors if there were a nationwide indoor mask mandate. Meanwhile, on Monday, California’s Democrat lawmakers dropped a proposal to mandate a vaccine requirement in California, reports the Los Angeles Times.
  • Gusto Green by Gusto 54 Restaurant Group and founder Janet Zuccarini of Venice’s Felix Trattoria will host a pop-up at Son of a Gun on September 9. Check Instagram and secure a spot on Resy.
  • Airport officials announced the launch of a contactless delivery robot named Nom Nom this week. The bot delivers food and drink orders to customers at gates while waiting for flights. CBS-2 reports the system is designed to cut down on crowding at restaurants.
  • SoCal chain Farmer Boys has a new, well, interesting promotion going on. Members who purchase fries and scan their receipts over the next two months have the chance to win a two-night stay at the Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Boise. Who wouldn’t pass up the chance to sleep overnight in a six-ton potato?
A giant potato room at the Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Boise
Big Idaho Potato Hotel
AP Images for Idaho Potato Commission