On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a return of lockdown measures in 19 counties where they had recently been reinstated, closing many indoor businesses and operations in advance of the July 4th weekend.
Restrictions temporarily return to 19 counties
Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Ventura counties are now facing indoor shutdowns. According to Governor Newsom, restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, entertainment venues, zoos, museums, and cardrooms must close all indoor operations, with bars facing a temporary total shutdown.
#COVID19 continues to spread at an alarming rate.
Effective immediately, 19 counties must close indoors operations for the following sectors:
– Movie theaters & family entertainment
– Zoos, museums
Bars must close ALL operations.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 1, 2020
However, the Governor insisted that outdoor operations, as well as socially distant functions such as take-out or pick-up services, would not be hindered.
“This doesn’t mean restaurants are shut down,” explained Governor Newsom on Wednesday. “It means that we’re trying to take the activities, as many activities as we can, these mixed activities, these concentrated activities, and move them outdoors, which is a way of mitigating the spread of this virus.”
Governor Newsom reinstated some of the restrictions following a dramatic increase in the number of coronavirus cases within the state. On Tuesday, California reported a record number of new cases in a day with 8,610, as well as a new high in the number of daily deaths with 103.
“Bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” said the Governor.
Newsom, as well as state health officials, are also concerned that a high number of new cases could lead to overburdening hospitals with new patients. Health officials have also warned of both the human cost and the financial cost in the rise of new cases.
In addition to the closings before the holiday weekend, Newsom also urged Californians to social distance and continue to wear masks, especially at any July 4th events.
“Wearing a face covering is a sign of toughness. It’s a sign of resolve. It’s a sign of someone who gives a damn,” added Governor Newsom at the press conference. “Our actions have an impact on other people. There’s a reason in this country we require seat belts. There’s a reason in this country we require helmets when you are on a motorcycle or a scooter. And that is not only to protect you, but also to protect others.”
Local closures and business compliance
Many local areas also added additional safety measures and shut downs this weekend. In Los Angeles County, all beaches, piers, and bike paths will be closed from Friday until Monday. State Beach Parking in the LA and Bay areas will also be closed during the weekend. Many cities will also be following Governor Newsom’s suggestion in not hosting group gatherings or firework displays, including the large Pasadena fireworks event on the 4th.
Many local officials have agreed with Newsom over the expanded temporary shutdowns during the holiday weekend.
“A lot of businesses are still hurting, but those higher rates don’t lie,” noted Doug Li, a restaurant owner speaking for several LA restaurants and cafes. “This is what we need to do to protect those who can’t handle the virus but also keep businesses open. I very much want everything to be open and be how it was before COVID-19, but we have to do what we need to do right now for the greater public good.
America has gotten a lot of criticism over this overseas, and this is the time where we prove we can stop this. If it means no public fireworks and having to order in, it’s what we have to do.”
With many state agencies such as the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on the lookout to enforce the Governor’s orders, Newsom expressed that he hoped that they wouldn’t be too harsh on them for a first offense.
“It’s more education. I’m not coming out with a fist,” said Governor Newsom.
All returning lockdown measures are currently in place in California. Should the number of new daily cases go significantly down, it is expected that the returning restrictions would be removed again.
“As soon as it’s safe, we should be allowed to do business again,” added Li. “We need to be safe, but we shouldn’t have to risk our businesses if we get no financial protection or relief.”
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