PASADENA, Calif. - Any other year, Friday nights are always bustling in Southern California. However, with COVID-19 cases continuing to surge, Los Angeles County is officially under a curfew order starting at 10 p.m., Friday, November 20.
Unlike LA County, Pasadena’s order requiring restaurants to close at 10 p.m. does not include a 50% cut in outdoor sitting capacity. The City’s Public Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh explains they are looking for restaurants to follow protocols in spacing tables and face coverings (unless you are eating). Goh added, defining a 50% capacity is difficult in the spaces being filled with make-shift dining areas as restaurants try to deal with COVID-19 restrictions.
Most violations, she adds, seem to happen when people are waiting for tables.
The focus is really on large gatherings, or groups drinking after hours in bars, for example. This is not a hard closure, like those ordered during civil unrest times, but an attempt to limit some of the exposures that seem to be linked to virus spread, especially with the holidays approaching.
Pasadena, like Long Beach, have their own health departments so while they cooperate and generally align with LA County orders, they have some leeway. If the Board of Supervisors, though, institutes a full closure, Pasadena will have to follow. The same goes for Federal or state health mandates.
As small businesses scratch and claw to stay afloat during these difficult times, many people we talked to are doing their part to order more takeout.
But at least for now, restaurants will adjust their last serving so people can be out the door by 10 p.m.
City buses will maintain their schedules, including after 10 p.m., for essential workers.
All in the hope to avoid a full closure, especially during the holidays.