LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger slams public health officials' decision to suspend outdoor dining amid coronavirus cases surge

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger slams public health officials' decision to suspend outdoor dining amid the surge in coronavirus cases.

"I believe we are being arbitrary and unfair and punitive to an industry that has suffered probably the most," she says.

Barger cites the restaurant industry's high level of compliance with rules meant to prevent the spread of the virus.

She insists the real problem is private gatherings and suggests suspending outdoor dining may result in more indoor get-togethers at home.

County officials announced last week that if the five-day average of new cases hit the 4,000 mark, in-person dining would be prohibited.

So why is Barger balking now?

"Hindsight is 20/20. I did not connect that dot, shame on me" she says.

The dining restrictions, set to take effect on Wednesday night, were announced yesterday.

Supervisor Janice Hahn responded with a tweet saying: "While I know our case counts are growing rapidly, I would have rather discussed this measure openly during our Board of Supervisors meeting so that the public could understand the rationale behind it."

The board meets tomorrow. Barger says they will talk about it -- but the decision is ultimately up to public health officials.