A San Diego judge cleared two clubs from striptease to reopen their doors, despite the explosion of COVID-19 cases currently in California, where “non-essential” activities have been severely restricted for several weeks.
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Even more surprisingly, Judge Joel Wohlfeil of the San Diego County Superior Court said in his preliminary ruling that all “establishments offering food service” in the area are also exempt from the health restrictions imposed by the State of. California.
Currently, restaurants are officially limited to take-out with no seated service possible, even outdoors, and members of different households are theoretically prohibited from meeting.
The San Diego court had only been seized by two clubs of striptease of the city, the Pacers and the Cheetah’s.
They asked to be able to continue their activities despite the pandemic and with appropriate measures: the artists will certainly be naked, but masked and will not share their stage with a colleague, physical distancing requires.
Such establishments, like restaurants, “provide sustenance and animate the spirit of the community, while providing employers and employees with the means to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.” , writes Judge Wohlfeil in the decision handed down on Wednesday.
He believes that the authorities have not provided evidence that these companies “present any risk of spreading COVID-19” or “that they have had an impact on the occupancy rate of intensive care units in the south. of California ”.
That rate hovered between 99% and 100% in the region on Thursday, and some 300 patients with the coronavirus were hospitalized in intensive care in San Diego County alone.
Judge Wohlfeil’s decision has puzzled local authorities, who are considering appealing.
“The state and the county are analyzing the scope of the judgment and discussing the next steps,” the County of San Diego explained on Twitter. “Until we see it more clearly, we have suspended control of the activities of restaurants and performing arts establishments,” they specify.
According to local media, some restaurants had already taken the opportunity to reopen their doors on Thursday.
In the past seven days, California has recorded more than 250,000 new cases of COVID-19, or more than 90 cases per 100,000 population.