Outrage over planned New Year’s Eve gatherings as Los Angeles

Outrage over planned New Year's Eve gatherings as Los Angeles
Firefighters and paramedics wait outside a hospital in Los Angeles during a surge of coronavirus cases. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: News of planned New Year’s Eve gatherings in Los Angeles creates outrage as the region faces a catastrophic coronavirus outbreak, a crushed healthcare system and record deaths.

In the lead up to the new year, Los Angeles has become the new center of the ciuntry’s out-of-control Covid pandemic, with one Covid related death now happening every ten minutes and hospitals faced with unimaginable choices as they run out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

But despite continuous warnings from doctors of “apocalyptic” scenes at hospitals have not stopped some businesses from planning in-person events to celebrate 2021, drawing sharp criticism from health officials.

In upscale Beverly Hills, La Scala, a fine-dining Italian restaurant was caught advertising an indoor dinner for the 31st, leaving invitations in take-out bags that said, “Welcome back to the 20’s Prohibition.” The ad emphasized that it would host people indoors, adding, “Please keep this discreet, but tell all your friends.”

After an image of the invitation went viral on Christmas day, in a statement from the city of Beverly Hills said that it had reached out to the restaurant to remind representatives that current local orders prohibit outdoor and indoor dining. On Monday, the restaurant said in an Instagram post that its message was meant to “add some levity” and that it was taking reservations for outdoor dining.

But with the current Covid-19 surge, which officials predict will only get worse amid holiday gatherings and travel, all in-person dining is banned, and authorities say they will likely extend the stay-at-home order into the new year.

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