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California orders some counties to stop indoor operations, close bars amid surge in COVID-19 cases

California orders some counties to stop indoor operations, close bars amid surge in COVID-19 cases
Posted at 1:04 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 16:06:12-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The governor of California announced new measures Wednesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state, ahead of a traditionally busy holiday weekend.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is ordering certain sectors in counties on the state's "County Monitoring List" to close indoor operations immediately, Newsom said on Wednesday.

The sectors affected are restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms.

Newsom also said those watch list counties must close all bar operations.

The new guidance will remain in place for at least three weeks.

There are currently 19 of the state's 58 counties on the state’s monitoring list. The counties affected include: 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.

"The spread of this virus continues at a rate we find particularly concerning," Newsom said.

Parking facilities at all state beaches will close for the weekend, as well. In counties that choose to close their local beaches, the state will also close state beaches in those counties.

Newsom added that the state will enforce public health orders using a multi-agency strike team that will target non-compliant workplaces. He added that counties that fail to enforce orders can lose out on state funding.

"It's targeted, it's where there are abuses, where there's a redundancy in complaints," Newsom said.

Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, the state is also encouraging counties on the state watch list to cancel all fireworks shows. Some counties have already moved to cancel fireworks displays over the weekend.

Tuesday, Newsom said the prospect of family gatherings, not just bars or demonstrations, this holiday weekend has health officers worried about the continued spread of the coronavirus. The governor reminded residents to wear a face covering, physically distance, and wash their hands to mitigate the virus' spread.

Last weekend, Newsom ordered bars in Los Angeles County and six other counties to close — a move which San Diego and Orange Counties followed this week.

Wednesday, the state reported 5,898 new coronavirus cases and a 6% positivity rate over the last 14 days of tests across the state. Newsom added that accordingly, hospitalizations and ICU cases have increased.

This story was originally published by Mark Saunders at KGTV.