Calif. Orders Bars in L.A. and 6 Other Counties to Close as Coronavirus Cases Rise

The state is now rolling back some of its reopening measures in large cities that have seen a spike in coronavirus cases

Gov. Gavin Newsom

California has ordered the closure of bars in Los Angeles and six other counties due to the rising toll of coronavirus in the state and across the country.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the mandatory closures in a tweet on Sunday, nearly 10 days after Los Angeles County allowed bars to reopen on June 19.

"Californians must remain vigilant against this virus," Newsom said in a statement, KTLA reported. "COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. 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."

Along with the mandatory shutdown of bars in Los Angeles, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare counties, Newsom recommended the same closures in eight other counties, including the state's capital, Sacramento.

Eric Garcetti
Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty

According to the Los Angeles Times, California has seen at least 215,580 cases and 5,934 deaths attributed to coronavirus thus far. As of Monday, the state has seen an average of 5,313 new cases and 60 deaths per day over the past week, which has "shattered" previous records, the newspaper reported.

On Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted his support of the shutdown.

"As we started reopening more businesses, we cautioned that we may need to change course to protect public health from this deadly virus," Garcetti said. "I support @CAGovernor’s order to close bars in L.A. County and other counties to limit the spread of COVID-19."

The abrupt change has proved frustrating for some bar owners, who had less than two weeks to welcome back customers after a three-month hiatus.

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"They need to rethink this process going forward because COVID will obviously be part of our lives for the rest of the year," bar owner Angie Sharma-Weisberger told the Times. "We can’t keep shutting down businesses at a moment’s notice. This is already a difficult business to begin with."

"I want to give our local leaders the benefit of the doubt, and they are not getting leadership at the federal level," bar owner Brett Rubin added. "But it feels like we are all grasping at straws. I’m sure many businesses will be gone, whether today or in six months, with the lack of help."

As of Monday afternoon, the U.S. has seen more than 2.5 million cases and 125,961 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to The New York Times.

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