Indoor museums, cardrooms and more also ordered to close
By Sam Catanzaro
Earlier this week Los Angeles County’s public health director said that almost half of restaurants and bars were not following social distancing rules. Now with cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) rising, Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered Los Angeles County dining rooms close.
On Wednesday afternoon, Newsom announced that all restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and cardrooms must close indoor operations in 19 counties, including Los Angeles, Ventura, Oranga and Ventura counties. The order, which is effective immediately, also orders bars to stop all operations.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) almost half of bars and 33 percent of the restaurants inspected last weekend were not following social distancing rules and employees were not wearing masks or face shields at 54 percent of the bars and 44 percent of the restaurants.
Los Angeles County continues to see steep increases in community spread of COVID-19, Public Health says. There are 1,889 people currently hospitalized, 27 percent of these people are in the ICU and 18 percent are on ventilators. This is the largest number of people hospitalized since early May.
On Wednesday, Public Health confirmed 2,002 new cases and 35 new deaths of COVID-19. This is the fourth consecutive day of new cases over 2,000, and today’s number is missing lab reports from one of the larger labs, officials noted.
“I know these closures are frustrating and it is heartbreaking to think we are losing ground. These immediate actions give us a chance to regain control over the increased spread. With steep increases in cases and hospitalizations, it is important to act now to prevent as many future cases, hospitalizations and deaths as we can,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
To date, Public Health has identified 105,507 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,402 deaths. In Santa Monica, there have been 414 cases and 29 deaths.