The city of Santa Clarita is calling for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to justify the new Health Officer Order update that bans outdoor dining for at least the next three weeks starting Wednesday.
City officials released a statement Monday afternoon:
“Our Santa Clarita restaurants have taken great care (and expense) to remain in compliance with the Health Order to provide safe outdoor dining areas. The city of Santa Clarita has encouraged our local businesses to take necessary precautions to protect their clientele through the Safer Business Commitment. More than 200 local businesses have signed on – pledging to follow the latest safety guidelines and best practices issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“For the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to unilaterally make the decision to close outdoor dining countywide on the eve of Thanksgiving, without any public debate or deliberation, is unconscionable. Currently, 41 counties in California are in the “purple tier” and remain able to provide outdoor dining. Other nearby counties, such as Ventura, have allowed safe outdoor dining to continue.
“The Department of Public Health’s own data shows that out of the Los Angeles County identified outbreak locations – restaurants account for only 3.1%. In the past, the city has sought a regional variance to allow for local data to guide our decisions and we continue the investigation into creating our own local health department.
“Additionally, on October 13, 2020, the Santa Clarita City Council took formal action to support the responsible re-opening of businesses to operate at a capacity that will initiate the economic recovery process.
“We are asking the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to hold a public hearing and call on the Department of Public Health to publicly justify this decision, that will cripple so many livelihoods.”
“Supervisor Kathryn Barger sent out a statement Monday morning, also in opposition of the decision to prohibit outdoor dining.
“‘These proposed measures by the Department of Public Health will further devastate local businesses and employees who have been asked to shoulder an unfair burden this year,’ said Barger, Chair of the Board. ‘Businesses throughout the county have invested thousands of dollars to ensure safety for their employees and customers only to be punished for the recent surge they have done everything in their power to prevent.’
“The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider modifications to the County Health Officer Order as part of Agenda Item S-1, which includes prohibiting outdoor dining, at their Regular Board meeting tomorrow morning, beginning at 9 a.m.
“Members of the public may address the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors during tomorrow’s live virtual Board meeting by calling (877) 226-8163 and entering participation code: 1336503. Please state you are calling regarding Item S-1 when addressing the Board of Supervisors.
“Public comment is limited to the first hour of the Board meeting and callers are selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The public comment portion begins at the start of the meeting at 9 a.m., but callers can call-in sooner to increase the likelihood they are selected to speak.
“More information on tomorrow’s Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting can be found here.
“Written comments may also be submitted to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at https://publiccomment.bos.lacounty.gov/.”