Los Angeles County Finds 1,000 Restaurants Failing to Following Reopening Guidelines
And it's not just happening in California.
Over the weekend, Los Angeles County government officials visited more than 2,000 restaurants, and were dismayed to discover that roughly 1,000 of them were not in compliance with the "minimum standards" required for safely reopening during the ongoing pandemic.
According to Eater, on Monday, NBC4 reporter Joel Grover asked Los Angeles County health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer about restaurants that have allegedly failed to follow the reopening guidelines, after some widely shared social media posts mentioned large groups waiting to be seated, "packed sidewalks," and other infractions.
"We did have our teams out this weekend. They visited 2,000 restaurants," Ferrer said. "They found that 50 percent of the restaurants were still not in compliance. They’ll be revisiting all of the restaurants that were not in compliance, and issuing them an order to come into compliance." (She added that there should be "no places" where tables were not spaced at least six feet apart or separated by a "physical barrier.")
Ferrer also said that restaurants that were found to be non-compliant would be revisited by county officials in the future, and that residents who noticed violations or "potential risks" at restaurants could contact the health department through a public hotline.
As frustrating as this is for anyone who has spent the past three months following all the rules, wearing a mask, and only leaving the house for essential items, it's also not limited to the Los Angeles area. Over the weekend, Dr. Michael Caldwell, the director of Nashville's Metro Public Health Department, paid a visit to Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky-Tonk Steakhouse after receiving multiple complaints about the number of people who had packed themselves into the bar.
Kid Rock's received a citation for failing to comply with the order requiring employees to wear face coverings, while 13 other restaurants in the city were also cited for their own violations.
Meanwhile, the Erie County (New York) Health Department's Environmental Health Division is receiving 10-ish complaints every day about restaurants and "food establishments" that are allegedly violating social distancing guidelines, or where customers aren't wearing face coverings. "If we receive a complaint from a member of the public who is concerned that a restaurant is not in compliance, we will investigate and inspect, and there could be consequences," Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein told the Buffalo News.
And the staff of the Daily Memphian took it upon themselves to drop in on 50 restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee and they saw that almost half of them had staff members or servers (or both) who weren't covering their faces, nearly a quarter had tables that weren't six feet apart, while another 24 percent weren't using disposable or single-use menus. Shelby County, which Memphis is part of, decided not to move to Phase 3 of its reopening plan yesterday, following what officials described as "an upward trend" in the number of confirmed positive cases; yesterday also saw the highest single-day increase in the case count since the pandemic began.
"I’m sure there are places that aren’t [complying with the rules], but there are those that are following it to a T. The message should be that we all need to be following protocol,” Ernie Mellor, the president of the Memphis Restaurant Association, told the outlet. “We need to be taking precautions. For those that are being a little slack, they need to step up. For those that are doing the right things, they need to keep doing it.”