The ruling was a sharp rebuke to how COVID-19 restrictions have been applied by state and county leaders, and was cautiously welcomed by some restaurant owners
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil ruled that two strip clubs in San Diego could remain open despite California’s strict COVID-19 restrictions. “And while the clubs prevailed in earning an injunction that allowed them to continue to offer live dancing, the judge went a significant step further and said the injunction can apply across San Diego’s restaurant sector that has been crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Wohlfeil’s ruling prevents local officials from enforcing the latest set of restrictions that went into effect in San Diego County on Dec. 3, not only against the two strip clubs — Pacers and Cheetahs — but also “San Diego County businesses with restaurant service” that abide by health and safety protocols that “are no greater than is essential” to control the spread of COVID-19.
The judge’s ruling came one day after San Diego county “reported 2,807 new cases of infection and another 23 deaths, and 301 patients in intensive care beds. Hospitals are starting to curtail procedures like organ transplants and cancer surgeries because of the strain on the system.”
The state of California filed an emergency appeal but the Fourth Appellate District issued a temporary stay on it pending the state’s formal appeal.