Gov. Newsom Tightens Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases Go Up

A few days after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered indoor operations to close in certain sectors for 19 California counties for at least three weeks amid a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the governor announced Monday more counties will be added to the state monitoring list.

Gov. Newsom announced there are now 23 counties on that list including Madera, San Diego, Marin, Monterey and other counties. He said bars in all 23 counties will be closed and indoor operations in multiple sectors in the counties for three consecutive days. 

The governor said the state targeted counties on the monitoring list and high-risk workplaces. He stressed that workplace safety guidelines include masks being worn by staff and patrons, physical distancing in place, and appropriate signage.

He said over the weekend, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officials made close to 6,000 in-person visits to bars and restaurants. Gov. Newsom said the Department of Industrial Relations and Division of Occupational Safety and Health made contact with more than 440,000 businesses, and the majority corrected deficiencies on the spot. 

Gov. Newsom said of the 23 counties, 13 counties issued local orders while three issued state orders and the state is waiting on about 6 counties for action including San Diego, Madera, Marin, Monteray and Solano counties.

INDOOR DINING CLOSED, BARS CLOSED IN SOME COUNTIES

Gov. Newsom had also ordered all state parking facilities at state beaches in SoCal and the Bay Area to be closed for the July 4 weekend. 

"The spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning. We are seeing parts of the state where we are seeing an increase in not only 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," Gov. Newsom said last week, adding the state is focusing on certain sectors of the economy where the spread can be potentially concentrated and to mitigate it.

Gov. Newsom said the 19 counties have been on the state watch list for at least 3 consecutive days including Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. He also said bars in ALL 19 counties will close. 

The governor said the one area they are seeing increased transmission is family gatherings. 

Orange County was added by Gov. Newsom to a state watch list last week. LA County was already on the list which has expanded to a total of 19 counties. 

It all comes as Los Angeles County grapples with a high number of COVID-19 cases and higher numbers of hospitalizations.  In LA County, the LA County Public Health Director issued a warning about the coronavirus outbreak. LA County decided to close its beaches for the July 4th weekend this week. Newport Beach decided to close its beaches too. Ventura County and Laguna Beach have also decided to close their beaches.

The new guidelines are for certain sectors to close their indoor operations for all the counties that have been on the county monitoring list for at least three consecutive days

- restaurants
- wineries and tasting rooms
- movie theaters
- family entertainment centers
- zoos and museums
- card rooms

Last week, Gov. Newsom ordered the closure of bars in LA County and other counties.  Meanwhile, Orange County and Riverside counties also decided to close their bars. 

On June 18, Gov. Newsom issued a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public. All of this as Dr. Fauci warns that the U.S. could see 100,000 cases of COVID-19 a day if Americans don't follow safety protocols and recommendations from public health.

In a briefing,  Gov. Newsom warned additional announcements will be coming Wednesday to use a "dimmer switch and begin to toggle back" on the Stay at Home order and "tighten things up."

"If you're not going to stay at home and you are not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce and we will and we will be making announcements on enforcement tomorrow," Gov. Newsom said in adding the spread in indoor facilities is much more probable than in outdoor settings.

Gov. Newsom said a particular concern in the state is family gatherings ahead of the July 4th weekend. He said COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped by 43 percent in the last two weeks and the number of people in is up 37 percent.

He said in the last 24 hours there have been 6,367 individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19 adding the state has seen an increase of total positive cases over the last two weeks.

"In particular, the concern is the number of hospitalizations and the number of ICU patients in this state," Gov. Newsom said adding the number of hospitalizations increased by 6.3% yesterday and the number of ICU patients increased 4.3%.