Los Angeles County on Sunday banned in-person dining for three weeks amid a surge in coronavirus cases less than 24 hours after it imposed a 10 p.m. curfew, piggy-backing the governor’s recent statewide “limited” stay-at-home order.
The L.A. County policy will go into effect the day before Thanksgiving and last for at least three weeks. Restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be able to offer only takeout, drive-through and delivery.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday that he was, effective this past Saturday, issuing the month-long stay-at-home order, which includes 94% of the state’s population.
There may be a problem with enforcement, however, as several California sheriffs have indicated they will not be responding to complaints of violations in many cases.
The sheriffs of populous counties including Sacramento, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura made their views clear on Thursday and Friday.
“Throughout the pandemic, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has taken an education-first approach with regard to the public health orders. We are currently assessing the action by the governor,” Sherriff Don Barnes said in a Thursday statement. “At this time, due to the need to have deputies available for emergency calls for service, deputies will not be responding to requests for face-coverings or social gatherings-only enforcement.”
Sacramento County will operate similarly, saying its sheriff’s office won’t determine or enforce compliance of any lockdown orders “related to curfews, staying at home, Thanksgiving or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates,” Sheriff Scott Jones said in a statement. “Further, we will not dispatch officers for these purposes.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the five-day average for new COVID-19 cases in L.A. County reached 4,097 on Sunday, above the five-day average threshold for new health restrictions, as set by the Department of Public Health.