Governor orders bars in 7 California counties to close

Patrons enjoy beverages Sunday afternoon at the Press Room bar in downtown Santa Barbara

California Gov. Newsom Orders Bars Closed in Multiple Counties, Including LA

Three months after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an unprecedented statewide stay-at-home order created to stem the spread of the coronavirus, California recorded its highest single-day count of COVID-19 cases.

"We are now in a position where we are working with (Imperial) county officials and advising them to pull back and once again reinstitute their stay-at-home orders", Newsom said Friday at a tool factory.

According to CDPH, bars are social environments where groups of people mix. Bars also tend to be loud, causing people to raise their voices and spray more respiratory droplets into the air, according to the department.

"These factors present a higher likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 within groups, between groups, and among the workforce".

Newsom's regular press briefings continue Monday following a busy week and a notable uptick in statewide coronavirus cases. This week, 15 counties are under "active monitoring by the state".

He stressed that the state is in charge right at the moment; the state, he said, has on occasion done enforcement and could utilize its pull through the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. A half-dozen county sheriffs have said they would not enforce the mask order.

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"COVDID-19 is still a concern for us and we don't want to lose any progress", he said.

On Friday, Santa Barbara County Public Health reported 81 new COVID-19 positive cases bringing the grand total to 2,712 with 54 recovering and 20 of those in the intensive care unit. The county's numbers reflect a statewide trend as other counties opened up.

Public health officials consider bars to be the highest-risk businesses during the pandemic because alcohol consumption reduces inhibition and impairs judgment, leading people to forget using face coverings or keep a safe distance from each other. Of those, 3,178 have recovered.

Kern Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said so far the county has tested at 6% of its population, below the state's 8%. He is recommending, but not requiring, closures in counties that have been on the watch list for at least three days but not a full two weeks.

Among the biggest fears is the rising hospitalization rate in Los Angeles and other counties, which had expanded hospital capacity months ago with makeshift medical centers in sports arenas and, in Los Angeles, offshore on the USNS Mercy.

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