Friday, 07 August, 2020

Los Angeles Bars Ordered to Close Again Due to Rising Coronavirus Cases

Governor Recommends Closing Santa Barbara and Ventura County Bars title Governor Recommends Closing Santa Barbara and Ventura County Bars
Deanna Wagner | 29 June, 2020, 15:29

Other counties' bars forced to close include Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare.

Please note, the following counties do not have bars open now and are recommended to keep them closed (Contra Costa and Santa Clara) or required to keep them closed (Imperial and San Joaquin) based upon their duration on the county monitoring list. The seven counties being ordered to close their bars have been on the watch list for more than 14 days.

The California Department of Public Health and California Governor Gavin Newsom today released guidance on the closure of bars for counties on the County Monitoring List.

The State-mandated closing comes as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is reporting significant increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate. "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 wrote in a statement.

Closure in Santa Barbara County would require an order from Dr. Henning Ansorg, the county's public health officer.

The governor and state health officials allowed bars to open in California on June 12. The California Department of Public Health, however, identifies bars as "the highest risk sector of non-essential business now open", according to a press release.

According to CDPH, bars are social environments where groups of people mix.

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People drink outside a bar during the reopening phase in the East Village neighborhood of New York City, June 13, 2020. There were also 29 additional deaths reported Sunday, bringing the statewide death toll to 3,419, the report said.

Beilenson said patrons are less likely to practice social distancing in bars, especially after they have had a few drinks.

Bars generally attract a younger adult population.

Newsom's order comes as daily reports fo new COVID-19 cases are reaching their highest levels in the USA since the pandemic began.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in California have been increasing for weeks, along with the state's rate of people who test positive for the virus. In many states, people under 35 accounted for a large percentage of new cases.

In San Bernardino County, officials said that many hospitals are getting closer to reaching "surge capacity" and that they are making plans to open alternate care sites for patients if hospitals fill up.

Bars, brew pubs and breweries present a particular challenge in terms of preventing the spread of coronavirus, Ansorg said, as people tend to be crowded close together indoors, and mask wearing typically does not occur while people are drinking. Before joining The Bee, she reported in Sacramento for the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times.

Sophia Bollag covers California politics and government.