LOS ANGELES – As we begin to see gyms, museums and sports arenas reopening in L.A. County, there are now major concerns over eating establishments not following the issued coronavirus safety rules. Public health officials recently visited over 2,000 restaurants currently operating to determine which ones were correctly adhering to the guidelines set by L.A. County. It was discovered that roughly 1,000 were clearly not in accordance with the safety rules.
According to the health officials running the inspections, this number was quite alarming and far more than had been expected. It was hoped that restaurants especially would follow the county guidelines in order to prevent the spread of new coronavirus outbreaks with more and more businesses opening each week.
Any eating establishment that violated the guidelines will be checked again in the coming weeks, and customers can give tips about potential risks to a public health department hotline. Officials believe it’s safe to reopen restaurants and other types of businesses, but merchants and patrons still need to follow the rules. Above all, wearing a mask and learning the proper techniques for handwashing are still considered to be incredibly important for reducing the amount of new cases. “There should be no places where tables are right next to each other,” said Public Health Director, Barbara Ferrer.
Currently, the amount of confirmed cases in California stands at around 155,000, although this number will likely increase with so many more statewide protests happening following the death of George Floyd. Deaths related to coronavirus are currently at around 5,000 in California, but in order to keep the toll from spiking, officials are encouraging citizens who have attended mass gatherings and protests to get tested for the virus. Despite many protesters wearing face masks, physical contact is still almost impossible to avoid and testing is one of the few methods available to help control the spread of the virus. It was revealed that more than 803,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in L.A. County and 8% of those tested were declared positive for the virus.
California’s secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said that they were at least reaching their targets for testing in the state. “We’ve ramped up testing in an extraordinary way, nearly hitting our goal that was set for August — not June, not July, but August — of getting to 60,000 to 80,000 tests a day,” said Ghaly. “We’re already knocking on that door, averaging in the mid- to high 50s over the past few days across the state.”