California governor calls for bar closures, restaurant restrictions as crisis worsens
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Sunday he was directing all bars, pubs and wineries in the state to close while also calling for new restrictions on restaurants as the country grapples with the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsom made the announcement during a press conference shortly after Illinois and Ohio ordered all bars and restaurants in their states to close. The California governor said that restaurants would be allowed to remain open but would be required to reduce their capacities and maintain measures to ensure social distancing among customers.
He also said the number of positive coronavirus test cases in the state had risen to 335. The total death toll from the disease in the state now stands at six, he said.
The governor also requested that all people over 65 participate in home isolation. Health officials have warned that those who are older or have underlying health conditions are more susceptible to the virus.
The state will also work to get the homeless indoors in trailers and motels during the crisis, Newsom said.
“We are prioritizing their safety,” Newsom said, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The governor also said he would give instructions for schools to stay open, hinting that some local school officials have not completely thought about how closing schools would affect everything.
“It’s one thing to say you have a plan and it’s another to actually deliver that plan,” Newsom added, according to the Times.
The Sacramento Bee noted that Newsom’s declaration would shut down two major industries in the state and could affect the state’s economy for months or longer.
Political leaders in Los Angeles, D.C., Boston and New Jersey also announced restrictions on bars and restaurants this weekend. Nashville, Tenn., Mayor John Cooper is reportedly also asking the state to shut down bars and cut down the capacity in restaurants.
Newsom declared a state of emergency earlier this month after the first death in California.
President Trump has issued travel restrictions on China, Iran, Europe and the U.K. as the country attempts to mitigate the effects of the virus.
The coronavirus has infected more than 3,200 people in the U.S., leading to 62 deaths and 12 people recovering, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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