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Letters to the Editor: Why a grading system for businesses won’t halt the spread of COVID-19

A restaurant near City Hall in downtown L.A. has an "A" grade from Los Angeles County.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Archon Fung, David Weil and Mary Graham suggest a grading system like those used for restaurants in Los Angeles County and elsewhere as a way to rate whether a business adheres to practices designed to limit COVID-19 exposure.

There is, however, a critical difference: With regard to food safety, if a brave diner decides to eat at a low-rated restaurant, he or she may get food poisoning but I will not. With COVID-19, a foolhardy customer who decides to risk exposure puts me and everyone else he or she may come into contact with in danger.

Contrary to the authors’ conclusion, such a system would not control the spread of disease. Indeed, since a segment of our population seems determined to disregard the safety of others, this would just invite more widespread infection.

John Hamilton Scott, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: I lived in Los Angeles County before moving to Orange County 20 years ago. I always appreciated the letter-grading system used for restaurants, and I have always wondered why that system was not adopted in Orange County.

I think a similar system for COVID-19 would encourage businesses to comply with regulations as well as convince consumers that it is safe to visit places that take precautions. It would certainly be reassuring to me.

Unfortunately, the Orange County Board of Supervisors is falling short in protecting the public. Our chief health officer had to resign amid death threats. Therefore, I doubt Orange County would adopt such a system.

I hope L.A. County has more foresight.

Nancy Paradiso, Huntington Beach

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To the editor: A grading system for businesses with regard to COVID-19 is a welcome idea. I am sure I am not alone in wondering what standards a business is following to increase the safety of its customers.

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A recent “60 Minutes” segment featured the strategy being used in San Antonio. There, businesses that commit to taking specific steps (such as social distancing, masks, disinfecting and wearing gloves) are given a poster for their storefront advertising their commitment to safety. Consumers can then make an educated decision.

I believe this is worthy of strong consideration.

Jeff Bernhardt, Valley Glen


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