City officials consider independent health department amid tightened restrictions in LA County

Several city officials within Los Angeles County have expressed interest in creating an independent health department.  The pushback comes as LA County health officials made the call to suspend outdoor dining for at least three weeks. 

Last week, officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health were unable to provide any of their own data or evidence in support of their order to restrict all in-person dining at restaurants.


• LA Public Health unable to provide data to support outdoor dining restrictions when pressed by county leader

• LA County to suspend all in-person dining as COVID-19 cases surge

According to LA County’s revised health order, the protocol has been updated "to limit restaurants, other food facilities, and breweries and wineries to provide food and beverage service via delivery, drive-thru or carry out only."

The health order states any service of food beverage and/or alcohol that involves a customer sitting or remaining onsite indoors or outdoors is prohibited. 

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"Safety is the most important part. I don’t want anyone in my family to get sick. I don’t want the county to get out of control making rules either," said West Covina resident Jwlyous Golden. 

West Covina Mayor Tony Wu plans to introduce a proposal at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to discuss creating the city’s own health department.  Mayor Wu is also considering the idea of a regional health department to include the neighboring cities of Glendora, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Covina, Walnut and Industry. 

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"I’m with the mayor because I think that everyone should be able to make a living. I think the fact that even the governor is doing the opposite of what he says, I think they deserve to make a living," said West Covina resident Adrian Mejia who worries more businesses will permanently close. 

"My partners and I definitely support Mayor Wu in having that local control. We feel we’re far enough outside from downtown LA that we should not be under the same guidelines," said Douglas Fore who owns three restaurants in West Covina. 

Other cities within Los Angeles County considering a similar approach include Lancaster, Beverly Hills and Whittier. 

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