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80 Percent Of LA County Restaurants And Bars Are Not Following Coronavirus Guidelines

(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Today in disturbing news: most restaurants and bars in Los Angeles County are not following COVID-19 precautions, according to the Public Health Department.

The county recently surveyed 3,700 food establishments and found that fully 83% are in violation of coronavirus regulations (!!!).

The main issue appears to be businesses not communicating the new rules to staff and patrons. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told LAist that a significant number of employees also aren't wearing face coverings, which is a major public health issue both for restaurant workers and guests:

"It's important for staff to wear face coverings because customers do not have masks on while eating and drinking."

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Lack of social distancing is also a problem.

On June 15, the county found that half of restaurants inspected since reopening weren't in compliance with new guidelines. That was based on inspections of 2,000 food service businesses.

Maybe if the Public Health Department had given restaurants more advanced notice to prepare for reopening ... or didn't rely on the honor system for safety precautions, this could have been avoided. To be fair, the department is obviously overwhelmed right now, but this is NOT OK.

Ferrer says before you dine, make sure tables are at least six-feet apart or have a physical barrier between them. Tables should be clear of items when you sit, and outdoor dining is your best option.

"Our guidelines are not suggestions. They are mandates. If you see
someone in your business that's not wearing a face covering, take action. If
you see large groups of people congregating in your business, question whether
those folks truly came from the same household and take action. Ask them to
step away from each other."

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Here are the full guidelines, if you need a refresher. Ferrer also urged residents to report any potentially unsafe conditions to the Public Health Department. To report a violation you can call (888) 700-9995, Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alternate plan? Stick with take-out.