Many in favor of LA county curfew and restaurant practices

Recent guidelines and regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic have lead to a 10 p.m. curfew on Los Angeles County citizens, as well as a shutdown on outdoor restaurant dining.

The curfew that came into effect on Nov. 21 will require Los Angeles County citizens to stay at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and stay in effect until Dec. 21 at 5 a.m.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has also issued a Regional Stay at Home Order that took effect on Saturday, Dec. 5.

This order is a modified version of the stay at home order back in March and will take effect in regions of California that have less than 15% ICU availability. Regions will have 24 hours to implement the stay at home order once under the 15% and will stay there for at least three weeks after implementation.

If a region is under the order, non-essential operations such as hair salons, bars and breweries, amusement parks will close, while places such as retail stores and shopping centers will limit capacity inside.

Deborah Herzik, a family nurse practitioner and full-time nurse at the ECC Student Health Center said that being in groups of people outside of the family can expose people to and spread the virus.

An individual may be contagious two days before the COVID-19 symptoms start to develop; one should assume anyone they come in contact with can be positive, Herzik said.

Although eating outside is a safety measure for customers, Herzik mentioned that there is still a risk.

“Outdoors is better than indoors, but if you’re right there in somebody’s face for a prolonged period of time not wearing a mask, it doesn’t matter,” Herzik said. “If I’m speaking with you three feet away and not wearing a mask, you’re being exposed, even outdoors.”

Other countries around the globe have also imposed curfews, which have been productive in solving the COVID-19 crisis, Herzik said.

“It does help to mitigate or reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Herzik said.

But with the closure of outdoor eating, some businesses have only the options of takeout and delivery.

Hiram Hironaka, the owner of Wasabi Sushiya restaurant in Gardena, said his sales have dropped to approximately 20%, one of the main reasons being El Camino College’s shutdown.

“My main clientele was El Camino students, and that has dropped off to zero,” Hironaka said. “The faculty and the staff they used to come, but all that is gone.”

Although there are outside tables set up, the restaurant mainly focuses on takeout, which some restaurants lack.

“We have only takeouts. Once in a while, maybe once every two months, we might have some catering by this one church,” Hironaka said.

When people order takeout at restaurants, they help restaurants stay afloat when they cannot have dine-in services, Herzik said.

“I think it is great, be sure and support your local restaurants, get takeout, do it,” Herzik said.

Although the recent changes affect how people interact with others outside, some students at ECC believe the regulations are necessary.

Alejandro Perez, a communications major at ECC, said the curfew and dining regulation was necessary because the holidays are coming up.

“Generally because a lot of places are not open the fact that restaurants are closing a lot early, it creates more of an incentive, and a reason for people to stay home,” Perez said.

Other restaurant options like takeout are beneficial and easy. However, when going out for food, Perez continues to follow health and safety guidelines to protect himself from the coronavirus, he said.

“I personally prefer takeout just because it’s a lot more convenient for me,” Perez said. “I always put on a mask, even if I’m by myself, I still wear one as long as I am outside.”

Although these regulations will be in effect for the coming weeks, Hironaka believes that these are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“We all need to bite the bullet, we all need to make some sacrifices, and we need to work together to kind of stem the tide of this COVID-19,” Hironaka said.