California Closing Bars as Coronavirus Infection Spreads, Governor Newsom Says

California Closing Bars as Coronavirus Infection Spreads, Governor Newsom Says

California Closing Bars as Coronavirus Infection Spreads, Governor Newsom Says

"Due to the rising spread of #COVID19, CA is ordering bars to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare", California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Twitter.

The United States remains the country with the largest number of coronavirus cases (2,539,544) and the highest COVID-19 death toll (125,747), according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University. In addition, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Stanislaus counties are recommended to close their bars.

Newsom said state and local health officials were working to shut the county back down and return to more strict stay-at-home rules.

The list of counties impacted by Sunday's order was based on daily reports on the spread of the virus, state officials said.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in California have been increasing for weeks, along with the state's rate of people who test positive for the virus.

California has ordered bars in some areas to close, the first major rollback of efforts to reopen the economy in the most populous U.S. state as coronavirus cases nationwide soar to record levels day after day. However, other factors keep the county on the watch list. The seven counties being ordered to close their bars have been on the watch list for more than 14 days.

"We will be stepping up our enforcement", he said. The state is now closely monitoring 19 counties for surges in cases - which recently have skewed toward younger residents - and hospitalizations, which still largely affect older residents and those with underlying health conditions.

Public health officials in California and throughout the United States have identified bars as the riskiest non-essential business now open. Of particular concern are local "positivity rates", or the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.

The increase is not simply the result of expanded testing capacity, officials have said.

The scramble in Imperial County highlights the uneven fallout from the virus.

This week's bar closures are likely to add pressure to existing questions about whether state or federal lawmakers will extend enhanced unemployment benefits, small business loans or other safety-net programs strained by the pandemic. The number of infections has reached 223,000 in the state.

The move comes as California reported 4,810 new COVID-19 cases and 33 additional deaths Sunday.

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