Nevada County not among 19 counties where Newsom rolls back openings due to virus
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a three-week closure of bars and indoor operations of restaurants certain other businesses in Los Angeles and 18 other counties as the state deals with increasing cases of COVID-19. The governor’s order Wednesday also covers indoor operations of movie theaters, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. The governor says the counties encompass more than 70% of California’s population.
Newsom planned Wednesday to announce he will “tighten things up” only weeks after loosening his March 19 stay-at-home order and reopening most businesses.
The state requires people to wear masks when they can’t maintain physical distance but public health officials have said lack of social distancing during Memorial Day get-togethers in May may have contributed to the surge.
California has confirmed close to 223,000 infections, a nearly 50% increase over two weeks ago that has been driven in part by the state’s ability to now test more than 100,000 people per day. But more concerning to officials is the steady growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations — a 43% increase in the past two weeks.
Newsom said the state will be more aggressive in enforcing public health orders.
“If you’re not going to stay home and you’re not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce — and we will,” Newsom said Tuesday.
“You’ve got to keep people from congregating,” agreed Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. But he said it’s up to the public to heed social distancing.
“Just because it’s summer and they feel like having a barbecue with all their friends, it can’t be that way,” Rutherford said. “I don’t know how one legislates that.”
Associated Press writers Brian Melley and Christopher Weber in Los Angeles and Amy Taxin in Orange County contributed reporting.
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