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Los Angeles County can keep its outdoor dining ban in place until at least early February if it chooses, regardless of state rules, under an order issued by the California 2nd District Court of Appeal.

A three-judge panel for the appeals court paused a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge’s ruling that would have required county public health officials to conduct a risk-benefit analysis of the temporary ban enacted in late November in order for it to remain in effect. A hearing on the matter will be held Feb. 10.

Brett Morrow, director of communications for the county health department, said the most recent legal action, filed Dec. 18, allows the county to continue protecting residents from the spread of the coronavirus as hospitals struggle to accommodate COVID-19 patients amid an unprecedented surge in the illness.

“The law is on the side of protecting public health and safety, and we are grateful for the court’s decision,” Morrow said in an email, adding that state law permits the public health officer to act “urgently and swiftly” during a health crisis.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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