LA Times: California’s outdoor dining ban was controversial. Did it help slow the COVID-19 surge?

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Governor Gavin Newsom lifted California’s stay-at-home order last week on Friday which included lifting the ban on outdoor dining. The order was enacted at the beginning of December and was followed by a drop in the Covid-19 transmission rate. Officials estimate that it kept as many as 25,000 people from becoming hospitalized with severe cases. Scientists don’t know which part of the stay-at-home order was most effective. The order prohibited nonessential travel, banned outdoor social gatherings, closed hair and nail salons, museums, and banned outdoor dining. However, public health experts believe that outdoor dining had a significant impact. The ban was controversial because there is no data showing that outdoor dining is a risk, however, experts argue that collecting data is a huge challenge that will take years to complete. Click here to read the full article by Soumya Karlamangla and Rong-Gon Lin II.

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