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California’s Outdoor Dining Ban Might Extend Into 2021

Also: Hazard pay for grocery workers, and more news to know today

California’s COVID-19 case rates could keep outdoor dining shuttered into 2021
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom says that he expects regional stay-at-home orders to remain in place past their initial three week period, as availability of hospital beds across the state continues to drop. According to KPIX, Newsom said that ICU rates have shot up by 51 percent in the past two weeks, and the state only has 2.5 percent availability of hospital beds. Even in the Bay Area, only 13.7 percent of hospital beds are free, which means that activities like outdoor dining will remain off the table until that number improves. The Bay Area’s stay-at-home order is currently expected to lift on January 7, but Newsom says that “We are likely – I think it’s pretty self-evident – going to need to extend those original dates.”
  • The SF Chronicle’s FAQ on San Francisco’s quarantine rules makes it clear that, no, you can’t just run out and grab some takeout if you’ve recently traveled outside the Bay Area. Those exempt from the quarantine (here’s a full list) include medical professionals and first responders, as well as those traveling for “official government purposes, essential work and court appearances.” And, according to NBC Bay Area, the Golden State Warriors.
  • Now that Prop 22 means food delivery companies like Uber and Doordash can deny their California drivers employee protections, those SF-based companies are trying to enact similar labor law exemptions in other states. [Wired]
  • San Jose food pantry Martha’s Kitchen says demand has increased by 100 percent as the pandemic erodes incomes. [ABC 7]
  • John Nunes, the president of NorCal’s United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5, argues that employees at grocery stores deserve hazard pay as they work to keep shoppers healthy and fed. [SF Chronicle]
  • Palo Alto non-profit Ada’s Cafe, which works with people with developmental disabilities to provide job training and employment, is struggling to raise funds as the pandemic continues. [Palo Alto Online]