Restaurants face uncertainty with new surge in COVID-19 cases

The Texas Restaurant Association says they are concerned with the rise in cases but feel better equipped now with the procedures they have utilized this past year.

AUSTIN, Texas — Restaurant owners in Central Texas have faced all kinds of struggles this past year and a half, and now some are concerned about the newest surge in cases.

“I think where we’re at right now is a little bit of anxiety and a little bit of concern, as we do see some of these COVID-19 numbers increase,” said Kelsey Erickson Streufert with the Texas Restaurant Association.

Streufert said they do have more hope with this current surge in COVID-19 cases, due to people being vaccinated and restaurants now knowing the best procedures.

“We know what the best practices are,” said Streufert. “We know how to keep folks safe when they’re dining in our restaurant, even when there’s COVID.”

Under

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Tinhorn Flats, which defied COVID-19 orders, is evicted

Tinhorn Flats, a Burbank restaurant that repeatedly defied shutdown orders during the pandemic, has been evicted from its Western-themed storefront, just as California fully reopens.

The eviction is the latest twist in a months-long saga pitting the restaurant’s operators against Burbank officials and, apparently, their own family.

After the restaurant defied a ban on outdoor dining, its dispute with the city escalated to involve sandbags, fences, padlocks and a power shutoff, as well as arrests and ongoing court battles.

City officials said in a news release that the owner of the property on Magnolia Boulevard is Isabelle Lepejian, the ex-wife of Baret Lepejian, chief executive of the company that operates the restaurant.

Isabelle Lepejian is the mother of 20-year-old Lucas Lepejian, said a source close to the family.

Along with his father, Baret, Lucas has been outspoken about openly flouting COVID-19 health orders and has been arrested several times

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COVID-19 cases down 25%, and no masks required during Oscars

Plus: What to do with your COVID-19 vaccination card. A staffing crisis hits San Francisco restaurants. And a tiny town will cut water use by 74%.

I’m Winston Gieseke, philanthropy and special sections editor for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, bringing you today’s California headlines.

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California reports 25% fewer COVID-19 cases as virus spread remains slow

California Gov. Gavin Newsom reacts after being inoculated by Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's Health and Human Services secretary, on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Newsom was vaccinated with the new one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom reacts after being inoculated by Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Newsom was vaccinated with the new one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson.

California reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 17,739 new cases. That’s down 24.8% from the previous week’s toll of 23,598 new cases.

California ranked 48th among the states where coronavirus

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One year of COVID-19: Timeline of L.A. dining culture

Beginning March 14, restaurants in Los Angeles County opened their dining rooms (at partial capacity) after being barred from serving indoors for most of the past 12 months. The reopening came one day shy of the anniversary date — March 15, 2020 — when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered restaurants to discontinue dine-in service to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

What happened in between those X-marks on the calendar is … a lot. It’s hard for our minds to hold everything that’s happened in the last year. It’s even harder to fathom the layers of tribulation that restaurant owners and their staffs have been through, starting with the painful time-loop pattern of shutdowns, punctuated by whiplash decisions from various government agencies that left heads spinning.

As it became clear that the pandemic could stretch out indefinitely and that vaccines wouldn’t become available before the year’s end,

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