California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all bars, indoor restaurant operations and movie theaters to shut down immediately in most parts of th
California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all bars, indoor restaurant operations and movie theaters to shut down immediately in most parts of the state as coronavirus cases continue spike.
Newsom announced the revised stay-at-home order on Wednesday, nearly three weeks after California began lifting restrictions to reopen its economy.
It comes as the number of COVID-19 cases rose nearly 50 per cent over the last two weeks, with a 43 per cent increase in hospitalizations.
As of Monday, there were 222,917 confirmed cases of in the state and 5,980 deaths, according to state public health department.
The shutdown applies to 19 counties where nearly three-quarters of the state’s roughly 40 million population lives – including Los Angeles County.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced the shutdown on Wednesday, days after imposing a statewide order requiring all residents to wear masks in most public places
Under the new measures, restaurants are permitted to continue with outdoor dining service but must shut down indoor operations.
It also applies to other indoor business operations including museums, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, and cardrooms.
Newsom had closed bars in seven counties on Sunday but Wednesday’s order extends across the state.
‘The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,’ Newsom said in a press conference.
The order is the latest coronavirus measure imposed in the California in recent weeks and follows Newsom’s statewide order requiring residents to wear masks or protective face coverings in most public areas.
California has joined a small but growing list of states that have been forced to roll back reopening plans after cases began to spike again.
Texas and Florida, which were among the first states to begin reopening after a three-month lockdown, closed bars for a second time last week after seeing record highs in the number of infection.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert earlier this week warned that gathering at indoor bars was one of the most dangerous activites Americans could do.
Restaurants can continue with outdoor dining service but must shut down indoor operations
Nineteen counties have been ordered to shut down bars, indoor restaurants and movie theater amid a troubling spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations
The order came just days ahead of what was expected to be a busy Fourth of July weekend for the state, sparking fears people would gather in mass for celebrations.
Newsom did not order beaches to close, but said parking lots at all beaches in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area would close to limit crowds.
State parks – which include some beaches – will remain open, but with measures in place to reduce overcrowding.
Newsom said the new business closure order applies to counties that have been on the state’s monitoring list because of increasing coronavirus cases for three consecutive days: Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura.
But enforcing the new rules will be difficult, Newsom said.
He said seven state agencies with regulatory authority would target non-compliant businesses, including the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Highway Patrol.
COVID-19 cases across the US increased by 46 percent in the week ending June 28, compared to the previous seven days, with the majority of rises occurring in the West and South of the country
And he suggested that state officials would first try to convince non-compliant businesses to cooperate instead of penalizing them.
‘It’s more education. I’m not coming out with a fist. We want not come out with an open heart, recognizing the magnitude of some of these modifications,’ Newsom said.
Many local California governments have delayed reopening or have imposed extra restrictions as cases rose.
Officials in Los Angeles County closed beaches for the Fourth of July weekend before Newsom announced his restrictions and Fresno County in the state’s Central Valley agricultural heartland had already ordered all bars to close.
CALIFORNIA SHUTS DOWN 19 COUNTIES
- Contra Costa
- Los Angeles
- San Bernardino
- San Joaquin
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Clara