Coronavirus: Newsom orders the closing of bars in L.A., 6 other counties

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Citing the rapid rate of spread of the coronavirus in parts of California, Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered seven counties, including Los Angeles, to immediately close all open bars and nightclubs and recommended eight other counties to take measures to close these businesses.The move, an indication of growing concern over the new COVID-19 cases, was announced in a statement by the governor’s director of public health, Dr. Sonia Angell. Bars in seven counties are immediately affected by public order: Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings and Imperial.

Eight other counties have been invited by state officials to issue local health closure orders: Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Stanislaus.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some 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 list of counties affected by Sunday’s order was based on daily reports of the virus spreading, state officials said. Counties that have been on the state watch list for three to 14 days are asked to close bars. These counties that have been ordered to close local businesses have been on the state watch list for more than 14 days.

“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and are working closely with counties where rates are increasing and regarding modes of transmission,” Angell said in a statement. “Closing bars in these counties is one of the many targeted actions that counties are taking in our state to slow the spread of the virus and reduce risk. ”

Newsom’s decision contrasts with recent decisions to leave more decision-making power to local authorities. The governor said it was possible that other parts of the state may need to cut openings, but was hesitant to make those decisions in Sacramento.

Earlier this month, the governor ordered all Californians to wear face masks in public or high-risk locations.

The alarm over the increase in the number of cases extends to California as a whole, where statewide cases have exceeded 211,000 cases. Hospitalizations and infection rates are also increasing, and authorities cite several likely factors, including reopenings, people having private social gatherings, and recent protests against the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

Some officials crack down on smuggled companies while others prepare to help overwhelmed hospitals.

Newsom said on Friday it was recommending the Imperial County reinstate tougher home stay orders after continuing to report the highest per capita case rate of any county in the state, as well as the rate the highest of positive tests.

The county supervisory board took no immediate action to order the businesses to be closed, but local officials met with a state delegation on Saturday to decide what to do next.

Authorities in San Bernardino County have said that many hospitals are nearing “peak capacity” and that they plan to open more patient care sites if the hospitals fill up.

In San Diego County, the health department on Friday ordered the immediate closure of an Escondido restaurant, saying its owner had refused follow public health guidelines imposed to prevent coronavirus outbreaks. And Belmont Park, an amusement park in Mission Bay, was closed on Friday afternoon by officials who said it was organizing rides in violation of state directives. The closure occurred the same day that county officials announced the the highest number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed in a single day.

Another day of surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Los Angeles County prompted health officials to warn Saturday that Los Angeles County is entering a “critical time” and that easing prescriptions stay at home is in danger unless the trend changes.

Los Angeles County public health officials reported 2,169 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

“If we cannot find in ourselves the fulfillment of these mandates, including the wearing of face covers and the distance when we are around others, we compromise our ability to move forward on the road to recovery,” said Saturday. Barbara Ferrer, county health director. declaration. “Our collective responsibility is to take immediate action, as individuals and as businesses, to reverse the trends we know.”

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