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Gov. Newsom shuts down bars in Los Angeles, six other counties amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 12:37 PM, Jun 28, 2020

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Facing a steep surge of COVID-19 cases in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday that he is shutting down bars in several counties across the state and recommending closures in others.

Newsom made the announcement on Twitter hours after the state reported 5,972 new coronavirus cases on Saturday.

San Diego County was not on the list of closures or recommended closures.

"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," Newsom tweeted at 12:17 p.m.

On Saturday, Los Angeles County health officials reported "significant increases" in COVID-19 cases, including 2,169 newly confirmed cases and 23 additional deaths. The seven-day average of Los Angeles' daily new cases is more than 1,900; an increase of nearly 600 daily new cases from two weeks ago.

State officials reported a total of 206,433 COVID-19 cases and 5,872 fatalities of June 26.

"We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties where there are increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission," said Dr. Sonia Angell, the state's public health director. "Closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus' spread and reduce risk."

The recent surge as hit some areas of California hard. Imperial County, with a population of 175,000 people on the state’s border with San Diego and Mexico, was ordered to reimpose stay-home orders amid a surge in positive coronavirus tests.

Imperial's positivity rate has averaged 23% in the last week, compared with 5.7 % percent statewide. Newsom said there is also a need to decompress the county's hospital system, which other counties have helped do by accepting patients.

"I noted a positivity rate over a 14-day period in the state of California at 5.3 percent. The positivity rate over a 14-day period in Imperial County is approaching 23 percent," Newsom said Friday.

The Imperial Valley provides many of the vegetables in U.S. supermarkets during winter.

In San Diego bars are fearful they're next.

Roy Romero, CEO ofTivoli Bar and Grill (the oldest bar in San Diego County)said they just got back in the green after opening up two weeks ago.

"It's scary because we just got back," he said passionately. "I just hope and I keep saying, 'Wow man, I know they're going to close down again if people don't start doing the right thing.'"

Stay with 10News for updates to this developing story.