Newsom imposes new restrictions on businesses as coronavirus surges in California
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday imposed a round of tougher restrictions on businesses to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.
Newsom ordered all indoor non-essential businesses to close in 19 counties across the state, including some of the most populous, including Los Angeles County and Orange County.
These include bars, dine-in restaurants, indoor movie theaters and indoor tasting rooms at wineries. Restaurants may remain open for takeout meals.
The restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks, Newsom said.
“I deeply respect people’s liberty, their desire to go back to the way things were, but I cannot impress upon you more, our actions have an impact on other people,” Newsom said.
Newsom recommended that fireworks shows be cancelled, and said parking lots at state beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area will be closed this weekend in an effort to limit crowds.
The announcement comes just ahead of the July 4 weekend, when Newsom said he is concerned about people in coronavirus hot spots ignoring public health guidelines and making the situation even worse.
California reported 110 deaths on Wednesday, the most the state has recorded since April, and nearly 6,000 new cases, Newsom said.
Hospitalizations have jumped 51 percent in the past two weeks, and ICU admissions are up 47 percent over the same period.
“Please disabuse yourself that somehow, people are no longer dying,” Newsom said. “Please do not take your guard down, please do not believe those that somehow want to manipulate the reality that is demonstrable in those lives lost and those families that have been torn apart because of COVID-19.”
Newsom allowed local governments to begin reopening in early May. The most recent reopening phase took effect in mid-June and allowed retail stores, bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms, and hair and nail salons to reopen with certain occupancy restrictions.
Cases began spiking shortly afterwards.
Newsom said the new closures are being targeted at trouble spots, rather than being imposed statewide.
“We’re focusing and targeting local parts of the state where we’re seeing an increase in community spread and we’re seeing an increase in the positivity rate,” Newsom said Wednesday.
“Not every part of the state is impacted equally, and as a consequence we are not targeting on a statewide level these rules and regulations, we are focusing in on areas of concern,” Newsom said.
California’s restrictions come as an increasing number of states have been backtracking their reopenings as coronavirus cases and hospitalization spike just ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.
States like Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Ohio all reported record numbers of cases on Wednesday. Some records have been broken on a near-daily basis, while others were set at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring.
Georgia recorded nearly 3,000 new cases on Wednesday, breaking the previous single-day record of 2,225 cases, which was recorded Sunday. The state has also been increasing testing, and the cumulative positivity rate is currently 9 percent.
In Ohio, the state reported 1,076 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the first time daily reported coronavirus cases have exceeded 1,000 since April.
Texas again broke its own daily record for new cases, reporting 8,076 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
Arizona on Wednesday also continued to break records, with nearly 5,000 new daily cases reported. Even more concerning, the death rates have also been increasing. Deaths are a lagging indicator, and officials have been citing a low death rate as a way to diminish the impact the virus has had.
Nationally, more than 48,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Tuesday, according to data collected by the New York Times.
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