coronavirus pandemic

Restaurants, Gyms Band Together to Sue County, State Over Ban on Indoor Operations

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Four local restaurants and gyms are suing the state and county over its coronavirus restrictions as a shutdown of indoor operations looms for many county businesses.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop, Home & Away Encinitas, Fit Athletic Club and Bear Republic.

The suit comes as San Diego County is slated to shut down indoor operations for nonessential businesses at midnight due to its recent entry into the most restrictive, purple tier of the state's coronavirus reopening plan.

The businesses allege that San Diego's increased case numbers are not a result of exposures at restaurants, gyms and other types of businesses that will be impacted by the impending closures. The lawsuit cites recent figures indicating restaurants/bars, retail businesses, places of worship, schools and gyms make up a small percentage of confirmed community outbreaks.

San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten recently submitted an adjudication request to the state seeking to have San Diego County remain in the red tier. The request was rejected by the state last week.

"Penalizing the impacted sectors for case increases is wrong, as these sectors continue to do the right things, while trying to weather the ongoing pandemic and the back and forth of reopenings,'' Wooten's request states.

The businesses allege in their complaint that they may be forced to shut down permanently if the shutdown is not averted. Each business said it has had to undergo significant closures due to the pandemic, despite abiding by public health orders and implementing safety measures to remain in compliance with the orders.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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