Pasadena to keep outdoor dining open despite L.A. County health order

The Pasadena City Council decided Monday to keep restaurants open for dining, despite the Los Angeles County public health order requiring outdoor dining to halt as of Wednesday.

While the city council did not take a vote, they unanimously agreed to assess daily whether to shut down restaurants, city spokesperson Lisa Derderian said. Pasadena is one of two cities in the county that has its own health department and heeds its own health orders.

“The City of Pasadena will continue to assess its COVID numbers, work closely with Huntington Hospital and give as much advance notice as possible if the City’s Order is going to change in any respect,” Derderian said in a written statement.

There was over an hour of public comment at Monday’s council meeting, mostly from restaurateurs pleading the city to keep their businesses open, she said.

“We need to balance our growing numbers and the economic hardship of restaurant personnel,” Derderian added. “Behind every employee is a family and in many cases they are the sole providers. It’s imperative everyone follows the rules to slow this surge otherwise a State directive could supersede our local Orders.”

Pasadena had reported 3,405 total COVID-19 cases as of Monday and 132 deaths.

The city has its own Department of Public Health that issues health orders separate from Los Angeles County. Long Beach, which also has its own public health department, echoed the county’s new order and will prohibit outdoor dining.

Los Angeles County announced over the weekend that it is halting dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars for at least three weeks starting Wednesday amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases.

The county had previously warned that if the five-day average number of cases reached 4,000 or more, or if hospitalizations surpassed 1,750 per day, all outdoor and indoor dining would be prohibited. The five-day case average in the county reached 4,097 Sunday.