California Gov. Newsom Orders Bars Closed in Multiple Counties, Including LA

Gov. Gavin Newsom giving an update on the state's response to the coronavirus

Governor Gavin Newsom's order for bars to close in seven counties, including Los Angeles, is the first big rollback of efforts to reopen the economy in the most populous USA state.

Please note, the following counties do not have bars open now and are recommended to keep them closed (Contra Costa and Santa Clara) or required to keep them closed (Imperial and San Joaquin) based upon their duration on the county monitoring list. "This includes closing bar areas in restaurants", Los Angeles County said in a statement.

Alcohol consumption slows brain activity, reduces inhibition, and impairs judgment, factors which contribute to reduced compliance with recommended core personal protective measures, such as the mandatory use of face coverings and maintaining six feet of distance from people outside of one's own household. Counties that have been on the state's watch list for between three and 14 days are being asked to close bars through local health orders. Public health officials in California and throughout the nation have identified bars as the most risky non-essential businesses now open, the state said. However, as the state has reopened, the number of daily new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations has increased.


For a third consecutive day on Saturday, the number of confirmed US cases leapt by more than 40,000, one of the world's largest surges. More than 5,800 have died. Bars are also generally noisy, requiring patrons to shout, which spreads droplets more widely. Sacramento County health chief Dr. Peter Beilenson last week told The Sacramento Bee he was concerned about the possibility of virus spread in bars.

Even in states where cases have been declining, bars have been a source of outbreaks. Those on the state's watch list for more than 14 days are required to immediately close any bar that has reopened for business. Newsom said state and local health officials were working to shut the county back down and return to more strict stay-at-home rules.

The announcement on from the California Department of Public Health says, "Whereas other industries and establishments were permitted to open with modifications in Stage 2, bars are in Stage 3 because they pose the highest risk of all sectors allowed to open so far".

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