Los Angeles County to fine businesses for not following health and safety protocols during pandemic

Los Angeles County will begin issuing citations to businesses that do not follow the health and safety protocols outlined in the county's health officer order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Since March, Public Health received a total of 17,808 health officer order complaints and investigated more than 17,000 restaurants, more than 3,500 grocery stores, more than 600 pools, and more than 3,000 other businesses, county officials said Thursday.

Twenty-six restaurants, one grocery store, one pool and 67 other businesses were shut down for health officer order violations. Most of the businesses under investigation either came into compliance or were working to come into compliance and that's why they were not closed.

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Beginning at the end of August, fines will be issued to businesses that are non-compliant that can range from $100 for the first offense to $500 and a 30-day permit suspension for multiple offenses. This includes businesses licensed and permitted by the department and those that are not. 

Current orders require business owners to close indoor operations at many businesses and take immediate action to implement strategies that protect workers and customers. The county lists reopening instructions for each type of business sector on its website.

"Compliance with the health officer orders is paramount for the long-term reopening of many economic sectors while ensuring the public health and safety of residents, which includes consumers and those who make up the workforce of these sectors," the county wrote in a statement.

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

As of Friday morning, the county reported a total of 166,848 positive cases of COVID-19 as well as 4,262 deaths.