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Citing the dramatic surge in coronavirus infection numbers, Manhattan Beach will be closing outdoor public seating spaces starting Sunday.

 

City workers will be removing tables and chairs from public property at 10 p.m., officials said.

After Los Angeles County ordered restaurants to halt outdoor dining in late November, Manhattan Beach announced a plan to repurpose newly closed outdoor dining areas as “public seating areas.”

The county’s Department of Public Health then sent a letter to city saying the policy violates health officer orders, which are meant to curb the spread of the virus, the Daily Breeze reported.

Patrons eat their meals outdoors at a city-owned patio area “Public Parklet” after ordering food to go at Simmzy’s restaurant in Manhattan Beach on Dec. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

“We must continue to respond to the ever-changing dynamics of this pandemic,” Mayor Suzanne Hadley said in a Saturday statement. “We are asking residents to stay home if possible, and mainly go out for work and essentials, or to exercise outdoors.”

City officials said coronavirus infection numbers have doubled since Nov. 1, and the daily case count hit an all-time record high on Friday, with 26 new infections.

“This recent spike in the virus is significant,” Hadley said.

Manhattan Beach officials also expressed concern over a new, apparently more contagious strain of the coronavirus that has been detected in Big Bear and San Diego County.

“We recognize that, you know, the science is very clear that gathering — especially those not in your household— does increase the spread of this contagious disease,” Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Hildy Stern told KTLA. “We recognize the importance of doing everything that we can to reduce the potential spread.”

“So, taking away the opportunity for further gathering is absolutely the appropriate thing to do,” Stern added.

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