Statement by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas on Health Officer Order to Close Outdoor Dining

Los Angeles County – “Today, the Board of Supervisors reaffirmed the Health Officer’s recommendation to close outdoor dining in light of alarming new rates of new COVID-19 cases.

“These are not decisions that we have made lightly. We are acutely aware of the compromises all Angelenos have been forced to make in order to protect the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. Unfortunately, as we seek to balance the public health and economic health of our region, there is no win-win outcome. There are downsides to every decision.

“I have always been guided by one fundamental question: How do we do act in a manner that is likely to cause the least amount of permanent, irreversible harm to our residents?

“Despite what some naysayers may say, it has not been for naught. Compared to many other cities and regions of our size and density, we’ve avoided overwhelming our healthcare systems and prevented many deaths.

“As we move forward – I hope this Board will continue to prioritize strategies that are designed to get our metrics low enough so that we can reopen schools and get our children back to optimal learning as quickly as possible. Their future is on the line. And frankly, I think incremental efforts to re-open the economy have made it more difficult for us to leave the most restrictive tier and safely move in this direction.

“If this is our objective, we must be consistent. If we are asking that everyone stay home and limit physical interactions with people outside of their homes, our policies align with this message. The public is being bombarded with confusing and incomplete information, much of which is contradictory.  Allowing outdoor dining, where people of mixed households gather to dine and mingle without face masks is inconsistent to our request for people to stay home.

“Accordingly, I support the Health Officer’s recommendations and ask that we all do our part to help push through these challenging times.”