Restaurants & Businesses Must Suffer The Consequences Of An Unfair State System
Despite a drop in the positivity rate, San Diego has fallen into the state’s dreaded COVID-19 purple tier, putting even more pressure on restaurants & local businesses to stay in business.
According to numbers presented by the county, the testing positivity rate for the region is 2.6% This is a .8% decline from the previous week, which are orange tier numbers.
But things don’t work that way. The state, as mandated by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, uses another metric to determine a county’s tier status. That one involves having less than seven positive tests per 100,000 people, which is a difficult number for any county to meet, especially when there are more than 10,000 tests being conducted each day, as is the case in San Diego County.
San Diego came in at 10 this week.
Of the 10,608 tests reported on Monday, 4% returned positive, which raised the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3.5%.
This means that restaurants, restaurant/bars, gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters and churches can only serve patrons outdoors. There is no more indoor dining, which was limited to 25% when the county was in the lesser-restrictive red tier.
On warm afternoons and nice evenings, outdoor dining in San Diego is an enjoyable experience. But with some places losing their afternoon sunshine with these shorter days and late fall and winter nighttime temperatures falling into the 50s, it’s not not exactly pleasant to have to stay outside.
This change – and constant changes – are taking their toll on business owners, who have had to pivot more often than a campaign manager. One told PubClub.com last week that “I’m at my wit’s end” over all the rules.
Many restaurants have spent money placing glass partitions between tables and barstools, installing hand sanitizer stations and sometimes elaborate seating on sidewalks and on city streets. They have had to train staff, closely monitor their food orders and hire extra security.
Several are on the brink of financial disaster and losing at least 25% of their customers is a blow some will not be able to overcome.
Earlier this week, PubClub wrote how the state’s system is totally unfair to businesses, and having to go all outdoor is another punishing blow to them to absorb. The owner and chef of Cowboy Star steakhouse in the East Village says he will likely be forced to close through at least through the end of the year.