Local Government
Newsom orders seven counties to close bars as coronavirus surges

Newsom orders seven counties to close bars as coronavirus surges

Good morning, California. It’s Monday, June 29.

Some parts of California are going back under lockdown.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered bars to close in seven counties and recommended they close in eight others following a week in which each day heralded a new all-time high of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

  • Newsom: “COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”

Bars are required to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Tulare counties — which have been on the state’s watch list for more than two weeks — and recommended to close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura counties, which have been on the watch list for at least three days. (Some counties hadn’t yet allowed bars to reopen.)

The state Department of Public Health deems bars “the highest risk sector of businesses allowed to open so far” because of the quantity of people mixing, alcohol consumption leading to less physical distancing, and raised voices spewing more droplets into the air.

  • LA Mayor Eric Garcetti“As we started reopening more businesses, we cautioned that we may need to change course to protect public health from this deadly virus. I support @CAGovernor’s order to close bars in L.A. County and other counties to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

With hospitalizations jumping by 48% over the two-week period ending June 26, Newsom has begun reasserting his authority after weeks of underscoring counties’ right to determine their pace of reopening.

On Friday, the governor told especially hard-hit Imperial County to reinstate its stay-at-home order, about a week after he ordered all Californians to wear masks in public places.

Several counties, including San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Marin, are pushing back or reevaluating their reopening timelines amid a surge in cases. However, Santa Clara County, which has had some of the tightest restrictions in the state, plans to reopen more businesses and activities this week.

The coronavirus bottom line: As of 9 p.m. Sunday night, California had 211,243 confirmed coronavirus cases and 5,905 deaths from the virus, according to a CalMatters tracker.

Also: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline tracking the state’s daily actions. And we’re tracking the state’s coronavirus hospitalizations by county.

By Emily Hoeven. Originally published on CalMatters

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

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