A judge on Wednesday ordered Los Angeles County public health officials to show scientific evidence justifying the outdoor dining ban imposed last week amid soaring coronavirus cases.
Outdoor dining had offered a lifeline for struggling restaurants during the pandemic. The California Restaurant Assn. sued to stop the ban, with a downtown L.A. restaurant, Engine Co. No. 28, filing a similar suit.
The county must return to court Tuesday to present evidence supporting the ban, L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant said at a hearing Wednesday morning.
“You have to do a risk-benefit analysis for public health. You don’t just talk about the risk of spreading disease. You have to talk about the benefit of keeping restaurants open,” Chalfant said.
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