Gov. Newsom orders various indoor activity closures statewide

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

Indoor activities across California must be reined in as the state combats a resurgence of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

The state ordered all 53 counties to close indoor activities at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums, card rooms and all bars.

Each county on the state’s coronavirus monitoring list — including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties — must also close gyms, places of worship, offices in non-critical sectors, hair and nail salons and indoor malls in addition to the statewide closure.

The 31 counties on the monitoring list make up roughly 80 percent of the state’s population, according to Newsom.

“We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize, soberly, that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon until there is a vaccine or an effective therapy,” Newsom said.

The governor has often compared the state’s ever-evolving coronavirus response to a dimmer switch, with the state opening and closing sectors of the economy as the virus’ spread ebbs and flows.

Newsom said Monday’s restrictions on indoor activities were driven in part by an influx of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in the state’s rural areas like Lake, Butte and Placer counties.

State health officials have also observed a shortage of ventilators in areas like Imperial County. Newsom said the state has some 10,000 ventilators available, but such shortages are still concerning.

Coronavirus hospitalizations have risen by about 28 percent over the last two weeks, from 5,077 on June 29 to 6,485 as of Sunday. In the last week, the state’s seven-day average of positive coronavirus tests rose from 7,876 on July 6 to 8,211 on Monday.

The state’s positivity rate has also continued trending north of 7 percent even as the number of tests across the state has surpassed 100,000 per day.

While the virus reasserts itself, Newsom expressed confidence in the state’s ability to tame it as it did in May, provided that residents continue following health and safety guidelines by wearing face coverings and maintaining their physical distance from others.

“We were able to suppress the spread of this virus, we were going to knock down the growth of this in the beginning,” Newsom said. “We’re going to do that again — there’s no doubt in my mind.”

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