Mark McDermott

Manhattan Beach, with record increase in COVID-19 cases, closes outdoor seating used for dining

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Diners with to-go orders fill tables in Metlox Plaza last week. The County ban on outdoor dining applied to restaurants, but not public seating areas. Photos by Kevin Cody

The City of Manhattan Beach released the following press release Saturday night: 

As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Manhattan Beach and across the County of Los Angeles, the City is closing outdoor seating spaces on public property, effective Sunday, January 3, at 10 p.m. Tables and chairs located in the outdoor seating spaces will be removed at that time.

At the beginning of the current surge on November 1, Manhattan Beach had 425 confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of today, that number has almost doubled to 821 cases. On December 31, the daily number of new cases reached 21, and yesterday 26, marking a new all-time record high since the beginning of the pandemic. Remaining ICU capacity in Southern California is currently at zero percent.

“We must continue to respond to the ever-changing dynamics of this pandemic. We are asking residents to stay home if possible, and mainly go out for work and essentials, or to exercise outdoors,” said Mayor Suzanne Hadley. “This recent spike in the virus is significant, despite the good news last month of our Manhattan Beach firefighters receiving some of the first COVID-19 vaccinations. Although public seating areas will be closed temporarily, please continue supporting our local businesses that offer pick-up, curbside, take-out, and delivery services.”

With a new mutant strain of COVID now present in California, which is reportedly more easily spread than the original virus, we must continue to strive to reduce virus transmission. Please continue to support one another by wearing face coverings, maintaining a safe distance, staying home as much as possible, and supporting our local businesses that are offering pick-up, curbside, take-out, and delivery services.

For accurate and up to date information about COVID-19, please visit the County Department of Public Health website, sign up for the City’s eNotifications and Nixle public safety alerts, and follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor, and Instagram.

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