Southern California is under new stay-at-home orders which went into effect after the area’s ICU capacity dropped below 15%.

Los Angeles County Supervisors recently voted to ban outdoor dining until mid-December, a move which some L.A. City Councilmembers were opposed to. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents the 7th Dist., tells Inside the Issues the recent increase in positive coronavirus cases is attributed not to people dining at restaurants but instead those who are visiting beaches or attending large gatherings. 

“What it really comes down to is people not honoring the orders and complying with the social distancing, the mask wearing, the washing of the hands, and not giving any unnecessary exposures," she said. "That's what's really created the circumstances that we’re in today and unfortunately we’re all suffering the consequences for the lack of cooperation from members of the public."

Rodriguez said she initiated the order to repeal the ban on outdoor dining, because she didn’t want to see the restaurant industry be devastated any further than it already has.

“When we talk about those restaurants, we're not talking about the actual business itself, we’re talking about the people whose livelihood depends on their operation and what we have right now is a circumstance with many folks in my district many of whom are employed in these areas don't know where their paycheck is going to come from next ... there's a delicate balance that we have to strike in terms of helping to sustain economic activity because these individuals don’t have a safety net," she said.

The economic impact left on small businesses who have to lay people off or are closed will live on “long after COVID is gone,” she explained. “I felt more comfortable outdoor dining at restaurants, than I have going to a Costco.”

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