Newsom: More California Counties Must Revert Reopening

California is largely closing again amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the state, as Governor Gavin Newsom announced state restrictions on Monday to again stop all indoor dining and nearby bars, family entertainment, zoos and museums. At the same time, 30 counties will be forced to close gyms, churches, hair salons, shopping malls, and other businesses.

Los Angeles is one of the counties that will be subject to the new restrictions on indoor meetings and services, like all other southern California counties, in addition to San Luis Obispo.

The move further pushes Californians inland during a time typically marked by summer vacation. The strictest measures to close gyms, churches, and other services are targeted at some of the state’s most populous regions, where 80% of California residents live.

“We are seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so it behooves us all to seriously recognize that COVID-19 will not go away any time soon until there is an effective vaccine or therapy,” Newsom said Monday.

The setback comes after the state said June 12 that restaurants, retail stores, bars, church services and gyms could reopen with modifications in counties that meet the state’s guidelines. Newsom said Monday’s move to resurrect the harsh restrictions was a response to the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

Newsom ordered tighter restrictions before the July 4 vacation on indoor activities for counties experiencing an increase in infections. Counties are placed on a watch list when they experience an increase in hospitalization rates, community transmission, or decreased hospital capacity, with three consecutive days of troublesome trends requiring the area to add restrictions. There are now 30 counties on that watch list, which, with Monday’s announcement, will now require the closure of gyms and churches.

Restaurants can still remain open for alfresco and take-out, while bars and breweries can serve drinks outdoors if they accompany the drink with food.

As of Monday, California had more than 326,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 7,000 total deaths, according to the Los Angeles Times tracker.