Gov. Newsom orders bars to close in several California counties as coronavirus cases rise

PLACENTIA, CA - MAY 16: Bartender Brianna Van De Mortel fills a growler with craft beer at Kelly's Korner on Saturday, May 16, 2020 in Placentia, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom says California is ordering bars to close in Los Angeles County and several other counties due to the rising spread of COVID-19.

Counties under this order include Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare.

The state is recommending they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

Los Angeles County officials have reported "significant increases'' in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and test positivity rates in recent days.

On Sunday the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced 2,542 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 97,894 cases and 3,305 fatalities. 

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Shortly after the governor made his announcement, the county put out their own statement saying all bars, breweries, brewpubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in L.A. County will be required to close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals. Bars areas within restaurants will also be closed. 

“While it’s disappointing to take a step back on our economic recovery journey, it’s critical that we protect the health of our residents and protect the capacity in our healthcare system,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health.

“I implore that our residents and businesses follow the Public Health directives that will keep us healthy, safe and on the pathway to recovery. Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.”

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There are 1,717 people currently hospitalized, higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks.

It is not known when bars will reopen in the county or in other counties in the state. 

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