California orders watch list counties to stop indoor operations, close bars amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Virus Outbreak California Restaurants
Posted at 12:07 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 16:00:47-04

(KGTV) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus in California ahead of a traditionally busy holiday weekend.

California is ordering certain sectors in counties on the state's County Monitoring List to close indoor operations immediately, Newsom said on Wednesday.

The sectors affected are restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms.

There are currently 19 of the state's 58 counties on the monitoring list. San Diego County is not on that list. The counties affected include Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Ventura.

RELATED: San Diego County to close bars that don't serve food ahead of July 4 to slow COVID-19 spread

Newsom also said those watch list counties must close all bar operations.

"The spread of this virus continues at a rate we find particularly concerning," Newsom said.

The new guidance will remain in place for at least three weeks.

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Parking facilities at all state beaches will close for the weekend as well. In counties that choose to close their local beaches, the state will also close state beaches in those counties.

Newsom added that the state will enforce public health orders using a multi-agency strike team that will target non-compliant workplaces. He added that counties that fail to enforce orders can lose out on state funding.

"It's targeted, it's where there are abuses, where there's a redundancy in complaints," Newsom said.

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Ahead of the July 4 holiday, the state is also encouraging counties on the state watch list to cancel all fireworks shows. Some counties have already moved to cancel fireworks displays over the weekend.

Tuesday, Newsom said the prospect of family gatherings, not just bars or demonstrations, this holiday weekend has health officers worried about the continued spread of the coronavirus. The governor reminded residents to wear a face covering, physically distance, and wash their hands to mitigate the virus' spread.

Last weekend, Newsom ordered bars in Los Angeles County and six other counties to close — a move which San Diego and Orange Counties followed this week.

Wednesday, the state reported 5,898 new coronavirus cases and a 6% positivity rate over the last 14 days of tests across the state. Newsom added that accordingly, hospitalizations and ICU cases have increased.