California Governor Orders Bars Closed in Los Angeles; 6 Other Counties

California bars
California Governor orders the closure of bars in densely populated areas to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Alarmed by the rapid climb in coronavirus cases in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of bars and nightspots in high-risk areas, including Los Angeles. He also prodded eight counties to “take action on their own to close those businesses”.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases,” Newsom said.

Dr. Sonia Angell, California’s Public Health Director, announced the Governor’s decision on Sunday. The order affects Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings, and Imperial.

At the same time, officials also asked eight other counties to issue local health orders to close bars and other nightspots. These are Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Stanislaus.

Bars are currently closed in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, and Imperial. State officials are recommending they stay that way based on local health data. These counties have been on the health watchlist for the past 14 days, and the data gathered shows an increase in infection rates.

Angell said they are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties with increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission. She adds that “closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti quickly tweeted that he supports the governor’s order.

“As we started reopening more businesses, we cautioned that we may need to change course to protect public health from this deadly virus,” Garcetti said.

Newsom had earlier ordered all Californians to wear face masks while in public or high-risk settings.