Newsom requires all of Southern California to close indoor activities at gyms, worship centers, hair salons and malls

California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday required 30 counties, including all in Southern California, to close indoor activities at fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, such as hair salons and barbershops, and indoor malls.

In addition, he ordered all 58 counties to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertaining centers, museums, zoos and card rooms, and ordered all bars shuttered across the state.

The new restrictions take effect immediately and are one of the strictest of any state’s reopening plans, according to The New York Times.

The announcement comes as coronavirus cases continued to surge statewide and as positivity rates, now up to 7.4% in California, are also on the rise.

Newsom has said in the past that he can apply a “dimmer switch” on reopenings as coronavirus infections and deaths remain a concern nationwide. He had previously ordered bars in seven counties to close, and later required that certain indoor sectors be shutdown in 19 counties.

“The data suggests not everybody is practicing common sense,” Newsom said in announcing the sweeping rollbacks.

As of Monday, there were 326,187 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state, with 7,053 deaths, according to the tracker by the Los Angeles Times.

“This virus is not going away anytime soon,” the governor said, emphasizing that COVID-19 doesn’t take weekends or the summer months off.

As officials try and curb community spread of the virus, Newsom said that part of the goal in closing indoor spaces is to encourage residents to “take it outside.”

He urged Californians to limit or avoid mixing with people who are not members of their households, but that doing so outside is preferred.

“Outside, we believe, is more favorable than mixing with individuals for an extended period of time inside, where you don’t have that air circulation,” the governor said.

The 30 counties now on the state’s watchlist represent 80% of California, and Newsom said he anticipated more counties will be closely monitored because of concerning coronavirus figures.

He explained that until there is a vaccine or effective therapy to treat COVID-19, the state will be working on mitigating the spread of the virus for the long term and that residents statewide have to adapt to new behaviors.

Though the rollbacks do not include schools, Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday that when classes in the nation’s second-largest public school system resume Aug. 18, they will remain online.

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