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IPFS News Link • California

Some restaurants are defying California lockdown rules: 'We have to make a living'

•, Anh Do, Luke Money

He has mounting bills — more than $100,000 from back rent owed for his two restaurants, Capone's Italian Cucina and Black Trumpet Bistro, both a quick drive from the water.

He spent thousands of dollars deep-cleaning and disinfecting both businesses, three times each in the past months, he said, along with complying "with every demand required."

Now, like thousands of other restaurants in much of California, he began Monday with a new set of restrictions, including a suspension of outdoor dining, which had been a lifeline for his business.

California officials issued the stay-at-home order as COVID-19 cases continued surging to unprecedented levels, pushing hospitals' precious intensive care beds perilously close to capacity. And officials warn the situation will likely get worse before it gets better as more people who were infected over Thanksgiving weekend fall ill.

Health experts have said this period is among the most dangerous points of the pandemic as the coronavirus spreads rapidly through the state.

But for Ferraro and others, the economic toll poses its own existential threat. While many businesses in areas covered by the state's new regional stay-at-home order appear to be complying, some are trying to figure out ways to keep their businesses going.