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Officials set new social-distancing rules for Burbank businesses

To help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Burbank officials have issued new social distancing rules for businesses to follow when it comes to allowing customers to line up before entering a store.
To help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Burbank officials have issued new social-distancing rules for businesses to follow when it comes to allowing customers to line up before entering a store.
(Raul Roa/Burbank Leader)

Burbank officials are cracking down on stores that have been allowing customers to line up on city streets and ignore social-distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The city issued new social-distancing rules on Friday for essential businesses that don’t heed health officials’ advice on people maintaining a 6-foot buffer between one another.

Any business or person found in violation of the order will be issued a misdemeanor citation, according to a statement from city spokeswoman Simone McFarland.

She said in a follow-up email the city was prompted to take action after receiving multiple complaints regarding lines at retailers as the pandemic worsens. People have continued to flock to stores like Costco and Trader Joe’s disregarding any form of social distancing as they wait in line to stock up on goods, the complaints say.

Lines were also seen outside of gun retailers in Burbank with people standing on city sidewalks waiting to purchase a firearm or additional ammunition. While Los Angeles Count Sheriff Alex Villanueva has ordered gun shops to close within his department’s jurisdiction, Burbank has allowed its stores to remain open by appointment only.

Gun retailers in Burbank have switched to an appointment-only model after city officials outlined new rules for businesses to follow for allowing customers to line up at a store and observe proper social distancing.
Gun retailers in Burbank have switched to an appointment-only model after city officials outlined new rules for businesses to follow for allowing customers to line up at a store and observe proper social distancing.
(Raul Roa/Burbank Leader)

“Burbank felt that this order was necessary to help slow the spread of the virus,” McFarland said.

Businesses in Burbank considered essential under Los Angeles County’s Safer at Home order must prohibit customers from lining up on city sidewalks or alleyways as they wait to enter, according to the order.

Customers are still allowed to line up but only on a business’s property, and people must maintain a 6-foot distance from each other.

If a business is unable to allow people to line up on its property then it can only be open by appointment, the order states.

The order is effective through April 19, and city officials have the option to extend it.

McFarland said the city has been conducting outreach with businesses to make sure they understand and comply with the new order.

Avoiding close contact with others is meant to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Health officials recommend maintaining a 6-foot radius from other people and to avoid crowded places.

As of Monday, there were 21 confirmed cases of infection with the pathogen in the city.

According to KTLA, 17 confirmed cases were found at the Alameda Care Center, where two residents have died as a result. Five other residents and 10 employees have reportedly tested positive for the virus.

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