LA restaurants close as California coronavirus hospitalizations hit highest point in months

Los Angeles restaurants are being hit hard as cases of coronavirus surge 160 percent in two weeks in California – fueled primarily by the rise of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.

Restaurants that have prevailed against the odds through the pandemic lockdowns are now being forced to temporarily close their doors again after staff were stricken by the virus.

The Village Idiot, in the Melrose area, posted on Instagram that it would close for an undetermined amount of time because a fully vaccinated staff member was diagnosed with Covid-19. 

Written over a photo, the restaurant wrote, ‘We apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately we’ve had a breakthrough case of Covid-19 with one of our fully vaccinated staff members. We will be closed for the next few days until all of our employees are tested.’ 

Bottega Louie, in West Hollywood, has also voluntarily shuttered for an undetermined amount of time on Monday. 

Bosses wrote on its Instagram page, ‘Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our guests and staff, we have decided to close Bottega Louie West Hollywood for a few days, due to increasing Covid-19 cases. We apologize for any inconvenience and will keep you apprised of our re-opening date.’ 

The closures come as California sees infections rise to 5,063 per day, a 160 percent increase from the 1,946 cases two weeks ago. 

Last week, Los Angeles County became the first in the country to require all residents to wear mask regardless of whether or not they’d been fully immunized. 

The Village Idiot, in the Melrose area of Los Angeles, also posted on Instagram that it would close for an undetermined amount of tim

The Village Idiot, in the Melrose area of Los Angeles, also posted on Instagram that it would close for an undetermined amount of tim

Some Los Angeles restaurants that have prevailed through the pandemic lockdowns are now closing their doors as cases rise, mainly due to the Indian 'Delta' Covid variant. Bottega Louie, in West Hollywood, shared its reasoning on its Instagram page Monday

Some Los Angeles restaurants that have prevailed through the pandemic lockdowns are now closing their doors as cases rise, mainly due to the Indian ‘Delta’ Covid variant. Bottega Louie, in West Hollywood, shared its reasoning on its Instagram page Monday

Bottega Louie  said that it would voluntarily shutter for an undetermined amount of time to try and prevent the spread of the new strain. Above is a photo of the restaurant before the pandemic

Bottega Louie  said that it would voluntarily shutter for an undetermined amount of time to try and prevent the spread of the new strain. Above is a photo of the restaurant before the pandemic

The Village idiot restaurant - pictured - made its decision after a fully vaccinated staff member was diagnosed with the virus

The Village idiot restaurant – pictured – made its decision after a fully vaccinated staff member was diagnosed with the virus

During pandemic lockdowns, a number of restaurants across California have had to close because of the drop in revenue. While Bottega Louie and The Village Idiot are not financially affected, other restaurants are still trying to bounce back from the hit they took.  

The most recent includes Mexican restaurant Broken Spanish, which had planned for months to close at the end of the month because of a steep drop in revenue during the pandemic. It wrote on its Instagram page, ‘Here we are, the final stretch, with our last night of service on July 31st. In the two weeks left we look to finish strong, celebrate our amazing partnership with @neuehouse, and share our love for the incredible CITY OF LA.’  

Amid the state’s surge in cases, which health officials say are predominantly among unvaccinated individuals, a growing number of restaurants have begun asking for proof of vaccination before allowing patrons inside. 

According to Variety, bars requiring vaccinations or negative tests include The Short Stop, Footsie’s, Gold Diggers Bar, Bar Henry, The Lash, Blind Barber (both Highland Park and Culver City locations), Melody Lounge, Club Tee Gee, Little Joy, Risky Business, Permanent Records, Mandrake Bar, Bar Sinister and Gold Line. 

Broken Spanish, will close at the end of the month, its shared on Instagram

Broken Spanish, will close at the end of the month, its shared on Instagram

The decision was months in the making because of the economic impact of the coronavirus lockdowns

The decision was months in the making because of the economic impact of the coronavirus lockdowns

California hospitalizations due to Covid-19 have more than doubled in the last month, according to the Los Angeles Times

On Monday, 552 Covid patients were in ICUs across the state, more than double the total a month ago.  

‘This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And so, if you care about getting back to normalcy once and for all, please get vaccinated,’ Gov. Gavin Newsom told the Los Angeles Times. 

 California is seeing an average of roughly 5,000 new coronavirus cases a day, more than quadruple the number from last month. 

At the peak of the pandemic, state was recording more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases over a seven-day period.

In addition to the impact on business, more than half of Californians are being urged to wear masks indoors – regardless of vaccination status – as the Indian ‘Delta’ Covid variant continues to wreak havoc across the U.S. 

At least 17 counties in the Golden State – home to 56 percent of residents – are asking people to wear face coverings in places such as grocery stores and movie theaters, reported The Los Angeles Times.

Just one of those counties, Los Angeles County, is requiring masks to be worn in these public settings. 

Covid cases in California have been soaring over the past few days, though they still aren't near where they were at the peak of the pandemic

Covid cases in California have been soaring over the past few days, though they still aren’t near where they were at the peak of the pandemic

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned on Tuesday that she might do the same as infections continue to rise in the city. 

It comes as the U.S. recorded 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 37,056, which is a 244 percent increase from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago.

Every state aside from Iowa has seen infections rise or hold steady in the last week, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

Additionally, 298 COVID-19 deaths were recorded on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 274. 

Fatalities, which are a lagging indicator, have not dramatically risen but instead have slightly increased by 6.6 percent from the average of 257 recorded three weeks prior. 

Health officials say this is because people now are protected by vaccines, though in states that have less vaccine uptake – such as Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee – hospitals are starting to fill up. 

The surge has been blamed on the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, which now makes up 83.2 percent of all new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Health officials say nearly all new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are among unvaccinated individuals.

‘Don’t be deceived that: ‘I got this far and I am okay,” Dr Gregory Poland, an internist and head of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, told CBS Minnesota.

‘This is a very different variant. It will find you. This virus will find everybody who is not immune.’

In light of the rising cases, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed for non-essential travel until at least August 21.

At least 17 counties in California - making up more than half of the state's residents - are urging residents to wear masks indoors amid the spread of the Indian 'Delta' variant. Pictured: People wear face coverings as they pass through Union Station in Los Angeles, California, July 2021

At least 17 counties in California – making up more than half of the state’s residents – are urging residents to wear masks indoors amid the spread of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant. Pictured: People wear face coverings as they pass through Union Station in Los Angeles, California, July 2021

The U.S. recorded 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 37,056, which is a 244% from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago

The U.S. recorded 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 37,056, which is a 244% from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago

Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 29 recorded on Tuesday and a seven-day rolling average of 274, 6.6% from the average of 257 recorded three weeks prior

Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 29 recorded on Tuesday and a seven-day rolling average of 274, 6.6% from the average of 257 recorded three weeks prior

Every single state - aside from Iowa - and the District of Coluimbia are reporting increases of COVID-19 cases this week

Every single state – aside from Iowa – and the District of Coluimbia are reporting increases of COVID-19 cases this week

The Delta variant now makes up 83% of all new infections

The Delta variant now makes up 83% of all new infections

Last week, Los Angeles County became the first in the country to require all residents to wear mask regardless of whether or not they’d been fully immunized.

The county is reporting about 13.5 cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate has risen from 0.4 percent on June 15, when the state reopened, to 4.8 percent as of Tuesday  

But at least 17 counties are similarly asking residents to mask up following their own increases.

For example, Santa Barbara County is reporting an average of 32 new COVID-19 cases per day, according to health department data.

While this is a low number on its own, it is four times higher than the average of eight cases per day that were being recorded in late June.

Meanwhile, Napa Valley County is recording about 12 cases per day compared to late June when just five cases per day were being recorded, according to local health officials.

‘All community members should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus,’ said Ventura County Health Officer Dr Robert Levin in a statement on Monday. 

‘While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection.’

California overall has seen cases rise to an average of 5,063 per day, a 160 percent increase from 1,946 just two weeks ago, a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data found.

Over the the same time period, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 1,506 to 2,447, a 62 percent jump, according to state data, the highest point since at least March.

Since the Delta variant was first discovered in April, it has become the dominant strain, accounting for 56.8 percent of all cases, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would implement a similar order to Los Angeles County if the city doesn’t get the virus under control.

California has seen cases rise to an average of 5,063 per day, a 160% increase from 1,946 just two weeks ago, leading many counties to ask that masks be required

California has seen cases rise to an average of 5,063 per day, a 160% increase from 1,946 just two weeks ago, leading many counties to ask that masks be required

Over the the same time period, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 1,506 to 2,447, a 62%jump, according to state data, the highest point since at least March.

Over the the same time period, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 1,506 to 2,447, a 62%jump, according to state data, the highest point since at least March.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested she may masks mandatory like Los Angeles County as cases increase 164% in a month from 34 per day to 90 per day and increase in in Illinois to 890 per day compared to 222 per day in June

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested she may masks mandatory like Los Angeles County as cases increase 164% in a month from 34 per day to 90 per day and increase in in Illinois to 890 per day compared to 222 per day in June

Currently, Chicago is recording a seven-day average of 90 cases per day, an 164 percent increase from 34 cases reported last month.

In Illinois, cases are up to an average of 890 per day compared to 222 per day at this time last month, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data. 

CDC data show the Delta variant makes up 43.1 percent of all new infections in Illinois.

‘If we allow the virus to linger here in Chicago, we will likely see further mutations, some of which our current vaccines may not be able to protect against, and have to reinforce some of the restrictions that infamously defined 2020 and part of 2021,’ Lightfoot said at a press conference on Tuesday.

She also noted that 90 percent of people hospitalized in Chicago are unvaccinated. 

‘This is a reality we can avoid, and it’s preventable,’ Lightfoot said and urged residents to get their shots.

Missouri continues to be one of the nation’s COVID-19 epicenters with average cases rising by 38 percent from 1,245 per day to 1,728 per day in the last two weeks, according to DailyMail.com’s analysis.

The state’s vaccination rate is behind the national average with about 46 percent of residents having received at least one dose and 40 percent fully vaccinated.

Comparatively, 56.1 percent of the U.S. has received at least one dose and 48.6 percent are fully vaccinated. 

The surge is due to the Delta variant, which has taken hold in the southwestern part of the state, where rates of at least one vaccine dose in some counties are as low as 15 percent.

In Greene County, where Springfield is located, the health department reported 251 COVID-19 patients in county hospitals on Monday, according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Average COVID-19 cases in Missouri have risen by 38% from 1,245 per day to 1,728 per day in the last two weeks

Average COVID-19 cases in Missouri have risen by 38% from 1,245 per day to 1,728 per day in the last two weeks

In Arkansas, COVID-19 cases have jumped from an average of 697 per day two weeks ago to 1,107 per day on Tuesday, an increase of 58%

In Arkansas, COVID-19 cases have jumped from an average of 697 per day two weeks ago to 1,107 per day on Tuesday, an increase of 58%

Louisiana has seen average coronavirus cases soar 94% from 714 per to 1,387 per day over the last 14 days

Louisiana has seen average coronavirus cases soar 94% from 714 per to 1,387 per day over the last 14 days

This marks the first time that the figure has surpassed the record set last winter of 237 patients, which was reported on December 1.

Doctors say many of their patients are in their 20s, 30s and 40s in comparison with previous surges and nearly all are unvaccinated.

‘There’s so many COVID patients. They’re on so many different units,’ Dr Rachel Keech, who was recently deployed to Mercy Hospital Springfield to help treat patients, told the Post-Dispatch. ‘They’re everywhere.’ 

In nearby Arkansas, cases have risen from an average of 697 per day two weeks ago to 1,106 per day on Tuesday, a 58 percent increase, the DailyMail.com analysis found.

Arkansas has one of the worst vaccination rates in the country with only 35.4 percent of residents fully vaccinated, CDC data show.

According to the state’s department of health, 766 residents are hospitalized with the virus, an increase of 85 from Friday, and 124 are on ventilators, an increase of five. 

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the largest hospital in the state, told CBS News that all 23 COVID-19 beds are full with 56 patients in total, some of whom have to be housed in other wings. 

‘To put it into perspective, our team is in the fourth quarter right now, or maybe even double overtime,’ Dr Cam Patterson, chancellor of the medical center, told the network.

‘This is not the first quarter for this team. They’re tired. It’s tough.’ 

In nearby Louisiana, cases have risen by 94 percent from 714 per to 1,387 per day over the last 14 days.  

Louisiana has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates of the country with about 36 percent fully vaccinated, CDC data show.

Hospitals across the state are seeing a surge of patients with 711 hospitalized with the virus as of Monday, according to the Department of Health, which is the highest number seen since mid-February.  

Dr Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, the state’s biggest hospital, told The Advocate that 30 new patients were admitted on Saturday night. 

The hospital had to open an entirely new floor for COVID-19 patients, most of whom were under age 65 and not fully vaccinated.

‘I want to be clear after seeing what I’ve seen the past two weeks,’ O’Neal said at a news conference on Friday. 

‘We only have two choices: we are either going to get vaccinated and end the pandemic. Or we are going to accept death. A lot of it, this surge, and another surge, and possibly another variant.’

Houston hospital reports its first case of COVID’s Lambda variant: At least 731 US patients nationwide have now contracted the mutation first found in Peru 

By Ariel Zilber for DailyMail.com  

A Texas hospital system that operates eight medical centers in its network has reported its first case of the Lambda variant of COVID-19 which has been blamed for coronavirus infections in Peru.

Houston Methodist Hospital confirmed on Monday that it was treating a patient who contracted the Lambda variant of the coronavirus. Epidemiologists have reported at least 731 instances of the variant in patients all across the United States.

Experts say the Lambda, which has the same types of mutations found in the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants, isn’t nearly as worrisome as the Indian Delta variant that is responsible for the nationwide surge in cases and hospitalizations.

It is also said to have a similar mutation found in Delta that that could explain why it more easily infects lung cells.

The news comes as Texas public health officials reported 3,319 new hospitalizations statewide on Tuesday – 273 more than the number announced on Monday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services also reported nearly 1,000 new probable cases on Tuesday. Twenty-four people died of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Cases are on the rise in Texas as just 49 percent of residents there have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Just 42 percent have been fully vaccinated – a figure that is well below other states.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 3.04 million Texans have contracted coronavirus. Some 53,000 have died.

The surge comes as the Indian Delta variant ravages the US, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that it is responsible for 83 percent of coronavirus cases in the country.

The Lambda variant, which was once thought to be even more contagious than Delta, was first reported in Peru in December 2020, according to the World Health Organization.

Peru has one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. The Lambda variant is believed to account for some 80 percent of cases in the country.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 187,000 Peruvians have died of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Nearly two million people have been infected, though experts believe the actual number could be much higher.

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