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19 California counties must close restaurants, zoos, movie theaters, and more immediately due to COVID-19

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients are on the rise in California.

CALIFORNIA, USA — On Wednesday, Governor Newsom said specific at-risk counties must close certain sectors of the economy to prevent the concerning spread of COVID-19. Effective immediately, certain indoor operations must close for at least three weeks. These include restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment venues, zoos, museums and cardrooms. 

This order applies to all counties that have been on the monitoring list for at least three consecutive days. San Diego County is not currently on that monitoring list. However, the order applies to nearby Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.

Credit: California Governor
In a press conference on Wednesday, July 1, Gov. Newsom announces new regulations for 19 California counties, making up 70% of the population of the state.

Parking lots at all state beaches will be closed this weekend, including in San Diego County. State parks will remain open, but with social distancing protocols in place.

Credit: California Governor
In a press conference on Wednesday, July 1, Gov. Newsom announces new regulations for 19 California counties, making up 70% of the population of the state.

"Californians should not gather with people they do not live with," said Newsom. 

"The bottom line is, the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning," Newsom said from Sacramento. "We're seeing parts of the state where we are seeing an increase not only in the total number of positive cases but a significant increase in the total number of people that are getting tested that are testing positive, meaning the positivity rate, not just the total case rate, is beginning to go up to a degree that obviously generates some concern."

In addition to shuttering many indoor business activities, Newsom also announced the creation of Multi-Agency Strike Teams that will target businesses that have been operating without meeting health guidelines -- as he phrased it, businesses that have been "thumbing their nose" or "reticent" to take steps to protect employees and customers.

The strike teams will include various state agencies, including the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, CalOSHA, Department of Business Oversight, Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Highway Patrol.

"When we talk about compliance, this isn't just talking about mask compliance, this is talking about health and safety in our meat-packing facilities," he said. "One should not have to put their life at risk to go to work as an essential worker.

"... It's more education. I'm not coming out with a fist. We want to come out with an open heart, recognize the magnitude of these modifications ... and what it means to small businessmen and women, what it means to communities, what it means to the economic vibrancy and health of our state, and in turn our nation."

Credit: AP
Gov. Gavin Newsom gives an update on the state's initiative to provide housing for homeless Californians to help stem the coronavirus, during a visit to a Motel 6 participating in the program in Pittsburg, Calif., Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Newsom announced that more than 15,000 rooms have been acquired and more than 14,000 people have been given places to stay statewide under the Project Room key program started in April. The governor also said he plans to announce on Wednesday plans to "toggle back" the states stay-at-home order. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

Newsom ordered the closure of bars in Los Angeles and several other counties on Sunday, and recommended such closures in other areas. Thus far, Riverside and San Diego counties have both ordered bars closed.

But the governor said Tuesday the bigger concern over the upcoming holiday weekend is family gatherings.

"Not just bars, not just (people) out in the streets, where people are protesting and the like," he said. "It's specifically family gatherings, where family members or rather households ... begin to mix and take down their guard. They walk into that barbecue with masks on and they put the cooler down and the mask comes off. You have a glass of water, and all of a sudden nieces and nephews start congregating around, jumping on top of Uncle Joe.

Newsom said family gatherings are consistently a top concern of health officials across the state, and California is "moving into a weekend when family gatherings are part of the tradition." As a result, he said the state will be "a little more aggressive" over the holiday to ensure health measures are followed. 

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