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SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health on Sunday ordered bars in seven counties, including Los Angeles, to close immediately.

The seven counties affected by the state order include Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings and Imperial counties.

Bars and nightspots in eight additional counties were recommended, but not required, to do the same.

This comes as concern grows over community spread and the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state.

Community spread increases the likelihood of expanded transmission of COVID-19 in settings such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, jails and prisons.

“Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “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.”

Counties will continue to take action to limit the transmission of COVID-19, including reinstituting community measures such as the closure of bars.

“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties where there are increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission. Closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health

Newsom is also reminding Californians to stay safe by wearing masks and following social distancing guidelies.

“Each of us has the power to limit the spread of this virus,” said Newsom. “Wear a face covering and keep physically distant outside the home. Don’t gather in groups, and if you are older or have a condition that puts you at higher risk of COVID-19, protect yourself by staying home.”