California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Sunday that he was ordering bars and nightlife to close in seven of the state’s most populous counties as California grapples with a rise in new coronavirus cases.
Newsom said in a tweet that he is ordering Los Angeles County and six other counties to close their bars. He also recommended that eight other California counties do the same.
—Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 28, 2020
“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger,” Newsom said in a written statement reported by the Los Angeles Times. “That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”
The announcement comes as the Los Angeles Department of Public Health said the state’s most populous city marked a seven-day average of daily new cases of more than 2,100. In total, Los Angeles County has counted 95,371 cases and 3,285 deaths from coronavirus as of June 28.
The California Department of Public Health laid out new guidance on Sunday, saying: “Brewpubs, breweries, bars, and pubs, should close until those establishments are allowed to resume operation per state guidance and local permission, unless they are offering sit-down, dine-in meals. Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.”
Any restaurant or bar offering dine-in service should continue to follow guidelines and “continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible,” the department added.
As the state’s caseload climbed to more than 211,000 over the weekend, officials have pointed to issues like relaxed lockdown measures, more social gatherings, and largescale protests, as factors in the rise of coronavirus transmissions, the LA Times noted.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the nation’s top doctor, told Business Insider’s Kimberly Leonard on Saturday that the surge of new cases may be linked to multiple factors, depending on how states reopened and if residents practiced preventative measures.
“In some places, it may be because they did in fact reopen too early,” Adams said. “In other cases, it may be that they reopened right on time and that the governmental institutions and public health institutions did everything right, but that the citizens did not have the will or desire or the follow-through to do the social distancing that we have recommended, and to wear coverings as we have recommended.”