SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has closed bars on Sunday in seven counties in California – including Los Angeles – as the state struggles with an increase in coronavirus infections and an increase in hospitalizations after the reopening of most sectors in the past month.
The move comes two days after the Republican governors of Texas and Florida closed the bars after seeing levels of coronavirus spread in their states.
The daily average of new cases in California has skyrocketed over the past week, which Newsom has recognized not only because of the increased availability of tests. The state’s positivity rate has exceeded 5%, while the number of people requiring hospitalization has increased by 29% in the past week.
The move marks the first Sunday that the Democratic governor has closed an area he previously authorized to open during the pandemic. The seven counties to close the bars are Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Tulare, all of which have been on the state watch list for at least two weeks. All except Los Angeles are located in the central valley, which has experienced a rapid increase in infections and hospitalizations.
“Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” Newsom said in a statement. “COVID-19 is still circulating in California and, in parts of the state, is getting stronger. 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. ”
Newsom recommended that eight more counties close their bars, but did not order them to do so. These counties have been on the watch list for at least three days and include Santa Clara, Riverside and Sacramento.
The governor and state health officials authorized bars to open in California on June 12, but have given county health officials the power to keep them closed as long as they see fit. Most of California’s 58 counties have subsequently authorized the bars to reopen – including the state’s largest, Los Angeles, which gave the establishments their green light on June 19.
The state has issued guidelines asking bars to maintain social distance between customers, eliminate bar counter seats and lower the volume of music to avoid screaming, which expels droplets onto larger ones. distances. Newsom also demanded face covers in most public places.
But photos of bars and nightlife spots showed people congregating without masks and lining up without standing behind. Several bars in Sacramento have now closed their doors after learning that they have had a Covid-19 case in recent days.