Jul 1, 2020 - Health

California governor orders bars in 19 counties to close

Gavin Newsom wears a mask and gloves

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars in 19 California counties to close on Wednesday, and he mandated that indoor service for restaurants, movie theaters, museums and zoos cease immediately.

What's happening: Daily coronavirus infections in California have been steadily growing since March, with the state marking its highest single-day increase last Tuesday, per the state health department.

Details: While bars are being ordered to stop all operations in the affected counties, only indoor services for restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and cardrooms are affected by the order, Newsom said.

  • Businesses are being shuttered because these counties have been on a higher-alert coronavirus watch list for at least three consecutive days, the state's public health department said in a press release.
  • Factors that can put a county on the watch list include elevated infections in specific populations and large outbreaks in congregate settings, as well as significant resource requests for PPE, contact tracers or testing capacity, per the department.

What they're saying: “Today’s action is necessary to help slow the spread of this virus,” Sonia Angell, director of the state's public health department, said in a statement.

  • “We put ourselves and our community at greatest risk for COVID-19 when we mix with people who don’t live with us. And if you go out, wear a face covering, keep your distance, wash your hands frequently and limit unnecessary indoor activities that increase the risk of exposure.”
  • “California is seeing the virus spreading at alarming rates in many parts of the state, and we are taking immediate action to slow the spread of the virus in those areas,” said Newsom said in a statement.

Go deeper: Why coronavirus cases are skyrocketing in California

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