July 1, 2020- COVID-19 News in California

Effective immediately, Gov. Newsom orders indoor restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and more to close in most of California.

Effective immediately, California is instructing certain sectors to close indoor operations for all counties that have been on the state’s watch list for three consecutive days. The affected sectors are: restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Those businesses can still operate outdoors.

That applies to 19 counties as of Wednesday. Those 19 counties represent more than 70% of the state’s population and include several counties in Southern California. Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura are all on the list of those impacted by the mandate.

The following Southern California counties are currently on the state’s list for “targeted engagement”:

  1. Condado de Los Angeles: One reason Los Angeles County has nearly half of the state’s COVID-19 cases is because of its huge population and the fact that it’s doing so much testing. Still, the county is being asked to keep a close eye on positivity rates as an indicator that community transmission is on the rise. They’re also testing every resident and staff member at all 235 skilled nursing facilities in the county.
  2. Condado de Orange: On June 29, Gov. Gavin Newsom added Orange County to the list of counties being closely monitored for worsening coronavirus spread. This comes just days after Disney officials announced the delayed reopening of its Anaheim theme parks.
  3. Riverside County: The state has identified five factors contributing to a rise in cases in Riverside County: outbreaks at prisons and nursing homes; large public protests where people weren’t wearing face coverings; patients coming from Imperial County for treatment; patients coming from Northern Baja California for treatment; and an increase in social gatherings. In addition to increasing testing, the county is being told to educate residents on the importance of wearing face coverings.
  4. San Bernardino County: Increase transmissions here are largely attributable to large gatherings, workplaces, nursing homes, jails and prisons, and patients being transferred from Imperial County. The county needs to ramp up testing, contact tracing and “working with labs and employers to increase turn-around time from diagnosis to isolation.” Residents also need to do a better job of wearing face coverings to mitigate spread.
  5. Santa Barbara County: Increased gatherings in the northern part of Santa Barbara County are being blamed for a rise in transmission. Curbing community transmission and increasing contact tracing should help, the state says.
  6. Imperial County: On June 26, Gov. Newsom instructed Imperial County to reinstate a stay-at-home order as the positivity rate approaches 23%. DPH is attributing the problem in Imperial County to two factors: “U.S. citizens coming across the Mexican border seeking healthcare” and inadequate hospital staffing. The county is being asked to ramp up testing, contact tracing, transport patients to hospitals in other counties and create more alternative care sites

These restrictions will remain in place for at least three weeks, Newsom said.

California isn’t requiring all beaches to close ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, the governor said, but it is taking measures to avoid the chance of overcrowding.

“The state of California is not mandating the closure of beaches this weekend, but we are modifying our parking facility operations and closing them to traffic throughout Southern California, as well as parts of Monterey County, Santa Cruz, through the Bay Area and up along the north coast to Sonoma County,” Newsom said.

Several counties in Southern California have already ordered all beaches to close for the holiday weekend. Counties with mandatory closures should consider cancelling Fourth of July fireworks shows, the governor said, and Californians should not gather with people they do not live with.

The trends that prompted the ordered closures have only gotten worse. Nearly 6,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours. That brings the positivity rate, or the proportion of people tested for COVID-19 that end up positive, to a 6% average over the past two weeks. It was 4.6% two weeks ago.

“That’s a very high increase. It may not seem like much to some but every decimal point is profoundly impactful,” Newsom said.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have climbed 51% over the past two weeks and ICU admissions are up 47%.

An additional 110 people lost their lives to the virus over the past 24 hours, the governor said.

“Disabuse yourself of the idea that somehow people are no longer dying,” he said.

Newsom hopes the new restrictions will help turn the situation, and quickly.

“We were successful in bending that curve. We will be successful again in bending this new curve.”

Many local governments are already tightening restrictions. Los Angeles — the nation’s most populous county — is closing beaches and banning fireworks this weekend. Newsom also ordered bars in the county to shut back down.

Public health officials consider bars to be the highest-risk businesses during the pandemic because drinking can reduce inhibition and impair judgement, potentially leading to people forgetting to wear face coverings and physical distance.

For more details, visit https://abc7.com/health/live-newsom-details-tightened-coronavirus-restrictions/6288080/

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