Los Angeles Restaurants to Remain Open as Covid-19 Hospitalizations Fall

A lone customer has lunch at a sectioned area for social distancing as customers line up for takeout at a Chipotle restaurant in Los Angeles on July 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

LOS ANGELES (CN) — Despite a drop in the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in recent weeks across Los Angeles County, there remain 41,000 active confirmed cases and local leaders still want residents to have the opportunity to dine out at their local restaurants.

In total, nearly 230,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported since the onset of the pandemic in LA County with nearly 5,500 deaths, according to health officials.

From those confirmed cases, roughly 41,000 are considered active cases, according to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Only about 18% who have had Covid-19 tested positive in the last 21 days.

“As I’ve said from the beginning of this, if you’re thinking of attending or hosting a gathering, cancel those plans,” Garcetti said during a Friday briefing. “We have simply lost too many parents, too many medical professionals, siblings, friends, essential workers.”

Despite the persistence of the virus, local leaders are committed to extending a program that will allow for outdoor dining to support restaurants and other eateries so they can comply with local health orders.

Garcetti announced the city’s Al Fresco program, which moves patrons and dining tables to sidewalks, will remain in place until January.

Hospitalizations in the county have dropped in recent weeks to the lowest levels since April, according to the LA County Public Health Department.

There are 1,347 people hospitalized with Covid-19, with 32% who are in the intensive care unit.

Five of the critical indicators that health officials track are trending downward, including hospitalizations, but LA County has reported 29 people under the age of 21, mainly children, as testing positive for the rare multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

According to county health officials, the condition impacts children who may have been exposed to Covid-19 or who have the virus.

“Different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs and there can be lifelong health impacts,” county officials said in a statement, adding that there have been no recorded deaths from the condition.

LA County is far from sending children back to school due to not meeting the threshold established by the state’s health agency.

Counties that wish to resume in-person classes will need to show a testing rate below 100 cases per 100,000 people for a two-week period. LA County is currently trending around 250 to 300 cases.

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