Surge in COVID-19 cases impacts Studio City businesses – The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The continued rise in omicron variant COVID-19 has led to rising infection rates in Los Angeles County, with more than 2 million cases reported in total, as of January 14. Although Studio City’s daily case count is significantly lower than other areas of Los Angeles Angeles County, Studio City is experiencing business adjustments and restaurants have fallen victim to rising COVID-19 cases .

Los Angeles County’s daily positivity test rate has risen to a seven-day daily average of 20.81%, and the total number of reported cases is 2,172,008 as of January 14.

High school dean and Studio City resident Chris Jones said he’s noticed restaurants are struggling to stay open.

“Many businesses have shortened hours and reduced staff, and several others have closed temporarily or permanently,” Jones said. “Even harder are many places where people congregate, restaurants, for example, that foster a sense of community. [Such locations] haven’t rebounded yet, and this loss of community is quite tangible and easy to feel.

The indoor dining reduction mandate has also impacted restaurants in Studio City, according to LA County Public Health. Based in Studio City, Flavor of India employee Akashdeep Khinda said that while business has not slowed, fewer people dined at the restaurant.

“Because of the omicron [variant] increase, few people have had dinner recently,” Khinda said. “Although we received more pickup orders, due to the commission rate from Doordash and Uber Eats, we did not receive the guests we had before the omicron surge.”

Studio City resident Sam Volokh ’23 said the recent spike in COVID-19 has heightened feelings of fear in the Studio City community, and many local businesses appear to be suffering.

“The biggest effect of the increase in cases in Studio City seems to be an increased danger that everyone is feeling,” Volokh said. “I’ve seen a lot of businesses on hiatus, which is unfortunate for both customers and store owners.”

Donya Ghassemieh ’23 said he noticed vaccination card requirements were also enforced due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Many businesses require vaccination cards even for eating out,” Ghassemieh said. “It has allowed them to stay open despite this increase in cases.”

The daily case count in Los Angeles County has now reached 40,535 with 4,257 hospitalizations and 27,942 deaths as of January 14.

Illustration by Alexa Druyanoff.