SACRAMENTO, Calif. — San Diego County will have to shut down indoor operations for churches, gyms, salons and barber shops, among other public spaces, as California continues to see a rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new set of restrictions for all 30 counties on the state’s watchlist, which accounts for roughly 80% of California’s population, in a news conference Monday.
Effective immediately, Newsom said that indoor areas must close at the following public spaces in watchlist regions — including San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties:
- fitness centers
- places of worship
- offices (for non-essential businesses)
- personal care services (salons, barber shops)
Newsom also said that the entire state — even counties that have not made the watchlist — must reinstate the restrictions that San Diego was already forced to bring back last week: closing bars and some other indoor spaces.
“This virus is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom said. “I hope all of us recognize that if we were still connected to some notion that somehow when it gets warm it’s going to go away, or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off — this virus has done neither. You’ve seen parts of the country with very hot … weather where you’re seeing an increase in positivity rates, an increase in hospitalizations and ICUs.
“Here in the state of California as we’re seeing triple-digit weather in many parts of our state, we’re still seeing an increase in the positivity rate, the community transmission. We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus.”
The governor said the decision is guided by concerning public health data, which suggests that outbreaks around the state are worsening. That includes an increase in hospitalizations of 28% over the past two weeks, and an increase in intensive care unit patients by 20% over the same period of time.
California confirmed 8,358 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. Cases have increased 47% over the past two weeks.
The state’s positivity rate has reached 7.4%. That metric — which reflects the percentage of total people tested who get positive results — has become a crucial way to measure the state’s infection rate as testing expands.
Overall, California has reported more than 329,100 cases and more than 7,000 deaths, though infections are probably higher because some people don’t show symptoms and barriers to testing still remain for many residents, especially healthy ones.
San Diego County has a news conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Monday, where they are expected to start laying out plans for adhering with the new state order.