Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on California's response to coronavirus Thursday in which he focused on the importance of wearing a mask. That means closing indoor dining at restaurants and indoor entertainment venues like arcades, bowling alleys, and movie theaters, as well as card rooms, museums, and zoos, the LA Times reports. All counties under the new restrictions had been on the state list for at least three days.
The 19 counties impacted by the new restrictions are: Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Ventura.
The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in California has jumped 56% in the last two weeks, an alarming sign of how rapidly COVID-19 is spreading and the intense pressure it's putting on the state's medical infrastructure.
There were 6,367 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in California on July 1 and 110 new deaths from the virus, bringing the state's respective totals to 223,000 and 5,980. But the order devastated the economy, forcing most businesses to close and prompting more than 6.7 million people to file for unemployment benefits. The governor also asked counties to cancel any planned firework shows on July 4 and Los Angeles County has made this order official.
Henning Ansorg has already ordered bars to close, effective today, following Newsom's earlier recommendation.
As several clusters of cases have been linked to gatherings, officials have encouraged people not to congregate in crowded or confined settings and not to meet up with people outside your household over the holiday weekend.
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The order came just days ahead of what is expected to be a busy Fourth of July weekend for the state.
Also, all parking facilities at state beaches in the Bay Area and Southern California will be closed this weekend.
There is widespread concern among lawmakers in the state that the pandemic could worsen as people celebrate the July Fourth Holiday over the weekend - much like it did when people crowded beaches and outdoor spots during the Memorial Day weekend.
On Wednesday, Newsom also urged Californians to wear face masks.
On June 29, Cody told a joint meeting of the San Jose City Council and the county Board of Supervisors that despite the recent surge in cases, "We also know that our community has done better at controlling this virus than nearly any other large community in the entire United States". That anxious public health officials because people were expected to gather in larger numbers than they have for months after the state relaxed its stay-at-home order allowing more businesses to open.
For the two weeks ended Monday, California's confirmed coronavirus cases increased 45% to almost a quarter-million and hospitalizations increased 52% to 5,077.
An NPR/Harvard study showed that California needs to double the number of tests it's now conducting in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The governor says the counties encompass more than 70% of California's population.