Los Angeles bracing for winter surge of Omicron COVID-19 variant
By Dolores Quintana
The winter surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant is a looming specter over the restaurant scene in Los Angeles, including at a Venice restaurant that has reported 28 positive cases among staff.
Los Angeles had over 3,200 new cases as of December 20 and New York City has broken records for four straight days, with the latest total at 23,400 overnight on December 20 according to NBC New York. Eater Los Angeles reports that the New Year’s Celebration in Grand Park and the 62 annual LA Holiday Celebration have canceled their in-person events and will instead broadcast their events on local television or on the Internet. The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena has not been canceled but has a vaccine requirement in place in order to attend.
Only a few restaurants have admitted to cancellations, closures or outbreaks among staff. Of the few, Gjelina’s restaurant group in Venice, which includes Gjusta, Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away, announced that 28 members of their staff have tested positive for the coronavirus according to Eater Los Angeles. Gjelina is closed as of Tuesday while Gjusta and Gjelina Take Away remain open.
Los Angeles County Health Department rules state that any businesses that have three or more employees who test positive must report to the Health Department which adds the business and the number of cases to the coronavirus outbreak locations list that the Health Department maintains. There is no requirement for restaurants to report outbreaks on their social media accounts or websites.