Los Angeles Bars Ordered to Close Again Due to Rising Coronavirus Cases


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

In addition, he's recommending that bars close in most other SoCal counties, including Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura, as well as Contra Costa, Sacramento, Santa Clara and Stanislaus Counties.

The county has been on a state watchlist for 13 days, Ansorg said, because it has not been meeting several state reopening metrics, and officials are working with the California Department of Public Health to address that.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in California have been increasing for weeks, along with the state's rate of people who test positive for the virus.

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. He also recommended that bars be closed in eight other counties. The County Health Officer Order will be amended today to require that all bars, breweries, brew pubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in L.A. County close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals.

"We will be stepping up our enforcement", he said.

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Newsom allowed bars to begin reopening in most counties on June 12.

The increase is not simply the result of expanded testing capacity, officials have said. But in areas like Imperial County, where the positivity rate hit 23%, the increased caseload can lead to frantic conditions on the ground. The other counties are: Fresno, San Joaquin, Kings, Kern, Imperial and Tulare.

The growing rate of positive infections and a spike in hospitalizations are proof the virus is spreading within communities.

"The question for state policymakers as the COVID-19 recession drags on is, how will they find the money needed to avoid cuts to programs and services that Californians will continue to need in the months and years to come?"

When it comes to the economic toll of the virus, California has already shed twice as many jobs during the first two months of the COVID-19 crisis - about 2.6 million - as it did during 31 months of the Great Recession a decade ago, according to an analysis released last week by the California Budget & Policy Center.

Sophia Bollag covers California politics and government.