Gov. Newsom Orders Indoor Restaurants, Wineries, Movie Theaters To Close in Most of CA

From ABC7

Effective immediately, California is instructing certain sectors to close indoor operations for all counties that have been on the state's watch list for three consecutive days.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the return of some stricter restrictions amid a concerning surge of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations Wednesday.

Effective immediately, California is instructing certain sectors to close indoor operations for all counties that have been on the state's watch list for three consecutive days. The affected sectors are: restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Those businesses can still operate outdoors.

That applies to 19 counties as of Wednesday. Those 19 counties represent more than 70% of the state's population and include several counties in Southern California. Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura are all on the list of those impacted by the mandate.

These restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks, Newsom said.

California isn't requiring all beaches to close ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, the governor said, but it is taking measures to avoid the chance of overcrowding.

"The state of California is not mandating the closure of beaches this weekend, but we are modifying our parking facility operations and closing them to traffic throughout Southern California, as well as parts of Monterey County, Santa Cruz, through the Bay Area and up along the north coast to Sonoma County," Newsom said.

Several counties in Southern California have already ordered all beaches to close for the holiday weekend. Counties with mandatory closures should consider cancelling Fourth of July fireworks shows, the governor said, and Californians should not gather with people they do not live with.

The trends that prompted the ordered closures have only gotten worse. Nearly 6,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours. That brings the positivity rate, or the proportion of people tested for COVID-19 that end up positive, to a 6% average over the past two weeks. It was 4.6% two weeks ago.

"That's a very high increase. It may not seem like much to some but every decimal point is profoundly impactful," Newsom said.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have climbed 51% over the past two weeks and ICU admissions are up 47%.

An additional 110 people lost their lives to the virus over the past 24 hours, the governor said.

"Disabuse yourself of the idea that somehow people are no longer dying," he said.

Newsom hopes the new restrictions will help turn the situation, and quickly.

"We were successful in bending that curve. We will be successful again in bending this new curve."

Many local governments are already tightening restrictions. Los Angeles -- the nation's most populous county -- is closing beaches and banning fireworks this weekend. Newsom also ordered bars in the county to shut back down.

Public health officials consider bars to be the highest-risk businesses during the pandemic because drinking can reduce inhibition and impair judgment, potentially leading to people forgetting to wear face coverings and physical distance.

Following L.A. County's move, Ventura County plans to close its beaches to the public for the Fourth of July weekend, the county's health officer told Eyewitness News.

Newsom said Monday Orange County, along with Solano, Merced and Glenn counties, had been added to the state Department of Public Health's watch list due to increasing percentages of positive tests.

Orange County on Wednesday heeded a recommendation from state officials and ordered the closure of all bars that don't offer dine-in services until further notice.

Imperial County unveiled a plan that includes closing businesses deemed non-essential and shuttering county parks.

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