Updates: L.A. Restaurants Close as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Updates: L.A. Restaurants Close as Coronavirus Cases Surge

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L.A. Restaurants Close as Coronavirus Cases Surge

Image courtesy of Musso & Frank's

Governor Gavin Newsom Wednesday ordered the immediate closure of dining rooms for at least three weeks in Los Angeles and 18 other counties that have been placed on a state watchlist because they are plagued by soaring coronavirus cases.

Newsom stressed that he wasn't shutting restaurants down, but wanted diners to eat outside, where the risk of spreading the virus is lower.

The new restrictions come a little over after a month dining rooms were allowed to reopen, but Newsom and other state officials have been alarmed by skyrocketing cases in the past week.

Newsom is also shutting down state beach parking lots and is urging all localities to cancel their Fourth of July festivities.

"We have to be much more vigilant about maintaining physical distancing from each other," Newsom said.

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Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble — accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.

It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.

Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions.

As Los Angeles County's 5.6 million registered voters all receive ballots at home for the first time, I knew my experience could not be unique. But I wondered, would my vote count? Or would my entire ballot now be discarded?

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When the founders who lead the ten young startups selected for the 2020 Techstars LA class begin their three month accelerator program Monday, they won't be gathering in the Mid-Wilshire office and shaking hands as every other class has done. Like the rest of us, they will be working at home because of the coronavirus. Dinners, meetings, socializing, and mentoring sessions will all be online.

"A big part of the magic of the program is the relationships that are from proximity and from everyone working together in the same space and so what we're doing is we're endeavoring to create as much as that connection in the virtual world as possible," said Anna Barber, managing director of Techstars LA.

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