- The Washington Times - Monday, January 4, 2021

Sitting on public property is no longer an option for citizens of California’s Manhattan Beach City due to COVID-19 and a “new mutant strain” in the region.

California officials announced the decision to pull tables and chairs from public property over the weekend as the state grapples with a surge of infections and the prospect of a new strain of the contagion.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Suzanne Hadley said the move, effective Sunday, was in response to the “ever-changing dynamics of this pandemic.”

“Although public seating areas will be closed temporarily, please continue supporting our local businesses that offer pick-up, curbside, take-out and delivery services,” she said in a statement.

The city’s Twitter feed also warned of worse things to come as the virus changes over time.

“With a new mutant strain of COVID present in California, which is reportedly more easily spread than the original virus, we must continue to strive to reduce virus transmission,” city officials said in a statement released Saturday.

Manhattan Beach City’s decision comes in the wake of an extended stay-at-home order for Southern California.

Restaurants restricted to takeout and delivery service services, while other businesses are open in support of critical infrastructure.

“We likely will experience in two weeks, 10, 14, 18 days from now, this surge stacked on top of these other surges related to holiday activities,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Dec. 28. “[We’re trying to] really be vigilant in terms of our promotion of alternative strategies as we wait for the vaccines to mitigate spread.”

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