California governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday closed bars in counties, including Los Angeles, while recommending the closure of some other counties, citing the spread of the coronavirus.
Newsom’s order, a Democrat, affected Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin, Tulare and Los Angeles counties – the most populous in the United States. State officials have asked at least eight other counties to issue local health orders closing the bars.
Texas and Florida officials have taken similar action, essentially halting some of their states’ economic returns as business soars.
“COVID-19 is still circulating in California and, in parts of the state, is getting stronger,” Newsom said in a statement. “This is why it is essential that we take this action to limit the spread of the virus in the countries experiencing the highest increases. ”
The governor’s decision on Sunday was a watershed compared to recent decisions to let local authorities decide how and when to let businesses reopen.
CALIFORNIA COUNTY SHERIFF SAYS IT WILL NOT APPLY NEWSOM CORONAVIRUS MASK ORDER
Earlier this month, Newsom ordered all Californians to wear masks in public, concerned that residents had not intentionally taken precautions.
California, like other states, has seen a surprising increase in the number of cases, which casts doubt on the continuation of the course on the reopening of the economy.
Newsom said on Friday that the state had carried out more than 76,000 tests, with a 5.7% increase in the total number of cases in the past week. Nationwide, there were approximately 4,890 new cases – the fourth highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
The Los Angeles County Public Health Department reported on Friday that cases of COVID-19 had been increase in residents aged 18 to 40, cases in the county alone increasing from 24,457 on June 10 to more than 35,249 on June 25.
Public health officials have blamed the recent increase in the number of cases on social gatherings and those who do not adhere to social distancing guidelines, warning that more businesses could close if hospitals reach peak capacity.
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On Sunday, there were some 206,000 total cases of new coronavirus and nearly 5,900 deaths.
Mike Lundin of Fox News contributed to this report.