California governor orders bars in L.A., six other counties to close

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomWatch live: California Gov. Newsom holds coronavirus briefing Vote-by-mail would create chaos and distrust in November The Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D) on Sunday announced the closure of bars in seven counties, including Los Angeles, and recommended them in another eight amid spikes in coronavirus cases.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger,” Newsom said in a statement Sunday. “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.”

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The state will require Los Angeles, Fresno, Tulare, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Imperial Counties to close bars, while recommending Ventura, Stanislaus, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties close them.

State officials said the counties were selected based on their daily reports on the spread of the coronavirus, singling out those that had been on the state watch list between 3 and 14 days for closing recommendations and requiring it for those counties that had been on the watch list longer than 14 days.

“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties where there are increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission,” state public health director, Sonia Angell said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk.”

California is one of several states, also including Oklahoma, Texas and Florida, reporting recent spikes in the virus. Los Angeles County along reported 2,169 new cases on Saturday, according to the Times.

“If we can’t find it in us to follow these mandates, including wearing face coverings and distancing when around others, we jeopardize our ability to move forward on the recovery journey,” county health director Barbara Ferrer said Saturday in a statement, according to the newspaper. “Our collective responsibility is to take immediate action, as individuals and businesses, to reverse the trends we are experiencing.”