California is largely closing again amid a spike in coronavirus cases across the state, as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced statewide restrictions Monday to again halt all indoor dining and close bars, family entertainment, zoos and museums. At the same time, 30 counties will be forced to shutter gyms, churches, hair salons, malls and other businesses.
Los Angeles is one of the counties that will be subject to the new restrictions against indoor gatherings and services, as will all other Southern California counties, other than San Luis Obispo.
The move further pushes Californians back inside during a time typically marked by summer vacations. The stricter measures to close gyms, churches and other services are targeted at some of the most populous regions in the state, where 80% of California residents live.
“We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away any time soon until there is a vaccine or an effective therapy,” Newsom said Monday.
The setback comes after the state said June 12 that dine-in restaurants, retail stores, bars, religious services and gyms could reopen with modifications in counties that met the state’s guidelines. Newsom said the move Monday to resurrect tough restrictions was a response to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.
Newsom ordered tougher restrictions ahead of the July 4 holiday on indoor activities for counties experiencing a spike in infections. Counties are placed on a watch list when they experience a rise in hospitalization rates, community transmission or declining hospital capacity, with three consecutive days of troublesome trends requiring the area to add the restrictions. There are now 30 counties on that watch list, which, with Monday’s announcement, will now require gyms and churches to close.
Restaurants are still permitted to stay open for outdoor dining and takeout, while bars and breweries can serve drinks outdoors if they accompany the beverage with food.
As of Monday, California had more than 326,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 7,000 total deaths, according to the Los Angeles Times’ tracker.
By Melody Gutierrez, Los Angeles Times