Three Long Beach councilmembers are pushing to get the state to allow limited indoor dining, even as local and county health officials warn of a new surge in COVID-19 cases, it was reported Friday.
In a proposal that will be considered at Tuesday’s city council meeting, the council members want to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow indoor dining to 25% capacity at restaurants in counties in the purple tier, which is the state’s most restrictive tier, The Long Beach Post, a digital daily, reported. Currently, state rules only allow outdoor and parklet dining for restaurants. Parklets are refurbished shipping containers.
“Long Beach is a major urban city and considering our hospitalization and positivity rates, we are not dissimilar to cities in nearby communities that are in the red tier based on their county designation,” the proposal states. “This reality has produced very unfair and illogical outcomes, given that businesses within two miles of each other, offering the same service and engaged in the same activities, are treated inconsistently.”
The proposal is in stark contrast to the dire picture Long Beach and L.A. County health officials painted Thursday about rising COVID-19 cases, when officials urged residents to stay vigilant, wear masks and avoid “indoor activities that don’t allow for plenty of fresh air to circulate.”
While the item regarding this Tuesday’s proposal originated from Councilwoman Stacy Mungo’s office, Mungo said she and Councilwoman Suzie Price co-authored the item with Councilman Daryl Supernaw supporting it, the Post reported. All together they represent the entirety of East Long Beach.
Mungo said that she doesn’t view the proposal as a loosening of restrictions for restaurants and that the data depicting a surge doesn’t account for where people actually live. She said that she believed indoor dining could be accomplished safely.
Personal care services were allowed to reopen indoor services three weeks ago with no restrictions on capacity for hair and nail salons, the proposal points out.
“Restaurants should be considered in this conversation,” it says.