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Garcetti: LA Alfresco Will Stay Fresco For The Rest Of 2020

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced tonight that LA Alfresco dining permits will be extended through the end of this calendar year. The program allows restaurants to quickly get the city's permission to expand outdoor dining to sidewalks, parking lots and parklets, while their dining rooms remain closed due to the pandemic.

Over 1,400 local restaurants are now participating in the program, which Garcetti hailed as a major success (of course, it's his program, so take this with a grain of salt as we haven't independently spoken to restaurant owners about it).

One restaurant in Koreatown, Garcetti said, has been able to bring back 30 employees and is now doing "nearly" as much business now as they were pre-pandemic, thanks to Alfresco.

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He also mentioned Casita del Campo in Silver Lake ("another place my wife and I used to love going"), which has now brought back 100% of its employees.

The mayor said that starting tonight, restaurant owners and managers can download their new (extended) permits and post them at their businesses.

More info can be found at coronavirus.la city.org/Alfresco.

THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER.

Garcetti emphasized during his weekly media briefing that the county's COVID-19 infections have decreased since last week.

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Last week, the mayor said, L.A. had 14,863 cases of the coronavirus; this week that number dropped to 10,801. That's a 40% decrease, he added, saying it's a "great sign."

Deaths were also down this week, from 310 to 291.

"So here's the bottom line," Garcetti said, "the data trends tell us that what we're doing is working...But I want to be clear that this is also saying that we're not yet out of the woods. We can't relax. We can't let up. COVID-19 is still here it's still dangerous and we need to keep doing our part, we need to hold the line."

Demand for testing has decreased by about 15%, the mayor added, but the city will keep testing capacity as it is, "just in case we ever need to surge up."

As of today, he said, one of every five Angelenos has been tested for COVID-19.

BUT...FLU SEASON

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The mayor said that although the county's coronavirus numbers have improved this week, flu season is just around the corner, and that the two viruses together could put additional pressure on our public health system.

He enouraged everyone to get a flu shot well in advance of winter. He said of the flu vaccine:

"They work, they're good and they help us make sure we don't have pressure in our hospitals, when folks need care from COVID-19, or other debilitating diseases."

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