Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Sunday that bars and nightlife establishments must immediately close in Los Angeles County and six other counties, citing a COVID-19 surge in several parts of California.
The other counties include Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare, the governor said in a tweet. He added that closing these establishments was only a recommendation for Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura counties.
Mandated and recommended closure in these areas was based on daily COVID-19 cases that have increased, according to state officials.
“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties where there are increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission,” Sonia Angell, state public health director, said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Los Angeles County Public Health officials reported Saturday “significant increases in COVID-19 diagnoses,” with 2,169 new cases and 23 new deaths. The totals reached 93,371 and 3,285, respectively. Of that total, the Santa Clarita Valley marked a tally of 3,037, which includes cases from a Pitchess Detention Center outbreak.
Statewide, 206,433 cases have been confirmed as of Saturday. Newsom has highlighted concern over the increase in California’s positivity rate, which has climbed from 4.6% to 5.1% over the past week.
Over the past week, Newsom had reiterated that because developments with COVID-19 remain ongoing, the state has toggled back in easing additional restrictions and has even advised Imperial County to reinstitute stay-at-home orders.
“We are acknowledging as a state well over a week ago that we’re not moving forward, that we’d already paused the reopening certain sectors of our economy with guidelines that were coming out now,” he said Friday.
Sunday’s announcement comes after Los Angeles County modified its health order on June 18 that allowed bars, wineries, breweries and casinos, as well as nail salons and tattoo parlors, to reopen as early as June 19.
Under the county’s guidelines, these establishments had to prove compliance before opening, such as making sure employees and customers wear masks and bars, for example, would discontinue seating of customers where they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance.
Businesses that must remain closed in Los Angeles County, now adding bars and nightspots once again, include public entertainment venues such as movie theaters, theme parks and concert venues, family entertainment centers like arcades and bowling alleys, and playgrounds. All events and gatherings remain prohibited.