State Watch

California tells six additional counties to close indoor businesses, all bars

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California on Monday told six more counties to close indoor operations for many businesses and all bars as the state experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced during his press briefing that Colusa, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey and San Diego counties have been added to the list of those instructed to close bars and indoor operations for certain businesses.

The state’s list currently includes 23 counties ordered to close indoor operations of restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms. California is made up of 58 counties in total.

Newsom said more focus needs to be placed on “how to more safely reopen” the economy instead of the previous focus on “when to reopen.”

“One of the most important things we can do, in addition to technical assistance on that monitoring list, is to do more to focus on enforcement,” Newsom said, adding that the state has prioritized areas with “known violators” or “high-risk workplaces.”

California sent teams to six regions to ensure businesses were following the required practices, such as staff and customers wearing masks, practicing social distancing and following occupancy limits, the governor said. 

The state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control completed almost 6,000 visits to bars and restaurants, while the Department of Industrial Relations and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health contacted more than 441,000 businesses.

California has been experiencing a rise in daily identified cases in the past couple of weeks, reaching its highest increase on Thursday of 8,434 confirmed cases. On Sunday, the state recorded 5,699 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its seven-day average to 7,876 new cases per day. 

In total, California has counted 271,684 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, leading to 6,337 fatalities, according to state data

California, Arizona, Florida and Texas have seen significant spikes, contributing to the U.S.’s unprecedented rise in daily confirmed cases. The U.S. broke its record for the highest number of identified cases on Friday with 56,567, according to The New York Times.

Tags bars Businesses California Coronavirus counties COVID-19 Gavin Newsom Pandemic
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