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L.A. County to Reveal Which Restaurants Have Employees With COVID-19

It's the first large county to make this information available to the public.
downtown nightlife

Several restaurants, both sit-down and quick-service alike, are still operating during the pandemic via delivery and takeaway orders. While this a far safer option than sitting in a dining room, it still doesn't entirely remove the risk of exposure from the equation—especially for the staff who work in the kitchen.

At this point, containing the spread of the virus is crucial to prevent overwhelming healthcare workers with an overload of patients. Los Angeles County is taking a step in the right direction by choosing to list the restaurants with employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, so that necessary cleanings can take place that much faster.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that the L.A. County Public Health chief Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the county already lists confirmed cases in nursing homes, prisons, shelters, and other institutional settings.

"Later this week, we will be including on this list restaurants that have had outbreaks as well," Ferrer told the Times.

L.A. County's running list of institutions with staff that tested positive for COVID-19 currently shows any facility that has at least one confirmed case, both employees and residents included.

According to Patch, the list (as of now) contains 275 institutional settings, all of which have accounted for over 3,100 cases and 292 deaths. The majority of the deaths were residents of nursing facilities.

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The decision to add restaurants to this list comes after numerous strikes and protests held by employees at several food service operations who felt that their health was at risk.

In early April, team members at local Domino's complained to the Department that they were not immediately notified of four employees that had tested positive for the disease. Additionally, the restaurant continued to bring in workers from other locations but didn't equip them with proper protective wear.

However, making it mandatory for restaurants to publicly disclose this information can help prevent that situation from reoccurring in the near future. Now we can only hope that other large counties will follow suit, and soon.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more