With coronavirus cases spiking in California, the state is taking a step backward in its phased reopening by shutting down bars and nightlife in seven counties, including Los Angeles County. Gov. Gavin Newsome made the announcement on Sunday after a reported 2,169 positive tests came in on Saturday along with 23 deaths. The state is approaching 100,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.
In his address, Newsome shared that everyone “must remain vigilant” as the virus continues to be a threat. Along with making the order for seven counties to close up shop, he advised eight other counties to consider the same. He called this a “critical step” to take as COVID-19 has grown stronger in some parts of the state. The step back in Cailfornia’s phased reopening will impact Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin, Tulara and the aforementioned Los Angeles County. Restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol if they have a bar but breweries and pubs will fall into the bar category for shutting down.
NEW: Due to the rising spread of #COVID19, CA is ordering bars to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare, while recommending they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, & Ventura.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 28, 2020
The decision to move backwards wasn’t an easy one for Newsome, who had just recently loosened the reins on June 12 to allow bars to reopen. Public health officials played a major factor in convincing Newsome to make the decision, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Dr. Sonia Angell shared in a statement that this is a move to “slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk.” Officials noted alcohol consumption can lead to poor decisions and rules involving social distancing and face coverings can fall short of its intended purpose with impaired decisions.
California isn’t the only state to find itself having to retract on prior guidelines that were lifted. Florida did the same over the weekend as Gov. Ron DeSantis announced bars in the Sunshine State would have to stop on-site consumption following record-breaking numbers. Sunday marked the third straight day that the state discovered 8,500 or more positive cases, bringin the total to 140,075 altogether with 3,419 deaths. Along with Florida and California seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases, Arizona and Texas have also been recently hit hard with the virus.