California is closing down again in response to a rising number of reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
This afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, and museums to halt all indoor operations. Bars across the state must close down completely. In addition, gyms, malls, churches, and salons in 30 counties—including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange counties—must close for three days.
Effective immediately, CA is closing some indoor business operations statewide and additional indoor business operations in counties on @CAPublicHealth Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days.
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) July 13, 2020
The Los Angeles Times reports that the latter closures cover counties where 80 percent of Californians live.
“We’re moving back into a modification mode of our original stay-at-home order, but doing so utilizing what commonly referred to as a dimmer switch,” said Newsom when announcing the new closures today. “Not ‘on’ open economy or ‘off’ shut down but a dimmer switch.”
The governor said that the state’s number of new cases and its positivity rate (meaning the percentage of COVID-19 tests that are positive) were on the rise, as were hospitalizations.
The state reported 109,910 COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, and an additional 1,104 deaths. Just over 7,000 people have died of COVID-19 in California.
Hospitalizations have increased 28 percent in the last two weeks. The number of patients in ICUs has grown by 19 percent over the same period. Nevertheless, 36 percent of ICU beds in the state are available as are 72 percent of the state’s ventilators.
The new order comes one month after the state had announced that dine-in restaurants, retail stores, and gyms could open back up under certain physical distancing protocols.
The statewide closures are only the latest tightening of the state’s lockdown order. In late June, Newsom ordered bars to close in seven counties, including Los Angeles County, reported the Times. San Francisco, which is not one of the counties listed in the governor’s order today, has delayed its own plans to reopen dine-in restaurants and outdoor bar service.
California’s closures come at a time of rising coronavirus caseloads across much of the country, and states like Texas and Florida are also reversing some of their prior reopenings of businesses.