State Watch

Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday ordered several indoor activities and all bar operations to shut down across the state as it grapples with growing coronavirus case numbers.

The governor announced in a press briefing that restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment venues, zoos, museums and card rooms will shut down all indoor operations. Newsom also said that bars must close down entirely. 

Restaurants will still be permitted to provide service for outdoor dining and take-out.

Newsom described the move as a “dimmer switch” version of his stay-at-home order from earlier this year. The new order is expected to stay in effect for at least three weeks, he said. 

“We’ve made this point on multiple occasions and that is we’re moving back into a modification mode of our original stay-at-home order,” the governor said. 

Newsom also named 30 counties where fitness centers, places of worship, offices for “Non-Critical Sectors,” personal care services, hair salons, barbershops and malls will have to close down. This order covers 80 percent of Californians, including those from Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento and San Diego counties.

The California governor announced the new restrictions as the state attempts to rein in the rising COVID-19 cases. The state has recorded 320,804 cases during the pandemic, leading to 7,017 deaths, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

In his press conference, Newsom said the state’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases increased this week to 8,211, compared to last week’s 7,876. Hospitalization has increased 28 percent over 14 days, and 72 new deaths were reported Sunday.

“This continues to be a deadly disease,” he said. 

Also on Monday, the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts announced that the new school year would be digital-only when classes begin next month, with in-person instruction to return “as soon as public health conditions allow.”

California was one of the earliest states to confirm a COVID-19 case but managed to avoid the massive spring surge that New York state experienced. 

But in recent weeks, states including California, Arizona, Florida and Texas have seen soaring coronavirus totals that have moved officials to issue or reimpose restrictions, including shuttering businesses that had previously reopened.

The U.S. saw a record single-day increase of 68,241 new coronavirus cases on Friday. In total, the country has confirmed more than 3.3 million cases, leading to 135,425 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In recent weeks, 21 states including Texas and Louisiana have mandated wearing masks in public in response to growing outbreaks, while others have recommended facial coverings without demanding their use.

President Trump on Monday repeated his unsubstantiated claim that recent expansions in U.S. testing are responsible for the spike in cases. Positivity rates among those getting tested, however, are also rising.

—Updated at 4:38 p.m.

Tags Caifornia Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Gavin Newsom Pandemic Shutdown
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