State closes bars, indoor spaces in 19 counties ahead of July 4

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 19 counties around the state have been asked to close many of their indoor spaces ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.

The closure applies to indoor areas at restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums and movie theaters, while outdoor areas for those businesses can continue to operate, Newsom said. All bars in the affected counties also must close, according to the governor.

San Diego County is not on the list of affected areas.

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are among the major Southern California regions included in the order. The 19 counties account for more than 70% of residents in the state.

Officials will also close parking lots at all state beaches in Southern California, and will close state beaches entirely in counties that have chosen to ban visitors at beaches under local control.

Wednesday’s announcement came as many cities and counties take matters into their own hands to tamp down on the growing statewide pandemic, introducing new restrictions at a local level.

In San Diego County, bars and other drinking establishments that don’t serve food have been closed, and any places that serve alcohol now have to close by 10 p.m.

Beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties will be closed for the holiday weekend, and Orange County announced shortly before Newsom’s news conference that all bars in that region have been ordered closed.

As California ramps up testing efforts, state health experts have turned their attention to key indicators such as positivity rate — the percentage of tests given that result in a confirmed virus case — to tell them how California is doing, Newsom explained.

The state’s positivity rate has risen steadily in recent weeks, the governor said, and now sits at 6% over the past 14 days. Hospitalizations have increased 51% in that same time period, and the state is now using 60% of its available hospital beds.

Over the last 24 hours, 110 people died of COVID-19 in California, according to the state’s official tally.

Most Popular Stories

Latest News

More News