California is again ordering sweeping closures of non-essential businesses statewide as the coronavirus continues to spread and hospital beds fill up.
Bars, movie theaters, card rooms and indoor dining at restaurants are suspended indefinitely, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.
Additionally, 31 counties facing increased community spread or hospitalizations must shutter churches, gyms, malls, barbershops and salons. That includes Sacramento, Placer, Sutter, Yuba and Yolo counties.
“This virus is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom said. “I hope all of us recognize that if we were still connected to some notion that somehow when it gets warm, it’s going to go away or somehow, it’s going to take summer months or weekends off. This virus has done neither.”
The closures are part of a long-held promise by Newsom to “toggle back” on the number of businesses allowed to stay open if certain benchmarks regarding infection spread and hospitalizations were not met.
The restrictions have no time limit, the governor's office confirmed, and will stay in place until counties meet standards set by the state.
“We will continue to modify based on changing conditions,” he said. “The data suggest not everyone is practicing common sense” by isolating from other households and wearing masks in public.
On Monday, Newsom said the average number of coronavirus tests that come back positive is 7.4%, compared to 6.1% just two weeks ago. Hospitalizations also continue to climb — there are 28% more coronavirus patients in the hospital than two weeks ago. More than 7,000 Californians have now succumbed to the virus.
The new closures come as many residents complained of confusion due to a patchwork of rules between different counties and cities.
The governor said he plans to release additional information on guidelines for schools reopening in the fall, including in-person learning, contact sports and other activities. But two of the state’s largest school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego announced Monday they would not be welcoming students to campus in the fall.
Newsom also foreshadowed an update on California’s testing strategy. Recently, some communities including Sacramento have begun hitting supply constraints.
“We have seen a real, marked improvement for months and now we’re seeing delays,” the governor said.
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