California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced new restrictions for 19 counties on the state’s watch list due to the increased spread of COVID-19 and “increased concern.”
Newsom ordered the counties — which include Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano in the Bay Area — to halt, or not reopen, indoor operations at restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms.
“This doesn’t mean restaurants shut down,” Newsom said. “It means we try to take as many activities as we can, these concentrated activities, and move them outdoors, which is a way of mitigating the spread of this virus.”
Bars in the counties must shut down or remain closed if they had not yet reopened.
The new orders will remain in effect for at least three weeks.
“COVID-19 continues to spread across California at an alarming rate,” the governor said. “Further action is required to stop the spread of the virus.”
The state had allowed counties to move through the first three stages of reopening their economies on their own timelines, but Newsom previously cautioned that the reopening process includes a “dimmer switch” to “toggle back” shelter-in-place orders if necessary.
State officials are closely monitoring county data and have developed a watch list of severely affected counties that need additional support in mitigating the virus. The list is based on the county’s metrics.
Here’s the complete list of 19 counties currently being monitored by the state. Those counties that have been on the list for more than three days will be required to follow the new restrictions.
- Contra Costa County
- Fresno County
- Glenn County
- Imperial County
- Kern County
- Kings County
- Los Angeles County
- Merced County
- Orange County
- Riverside County
- Sacramento County
- San Bernadino County
- San Joaquin County
- Santa Barbara County
- Santa Clara County
- Solano County
- Stanislaus County
- Tulare County
- Ventura County
Newsom also announced the closure of all state beach parking lots in Southern California and the Bay Area ahead of the July 4th weekend. He recommended fireworks shows be canceled in the 19 counties on the watch list, but stopped short of ordering it.
California has confirmed more than 230,000 infections as of Wednesday. While the growing case count has been driven in part by the state’s ability to now test more than 100,000 people per day, the rate of people testing positive has jumped from 4.6% to 6%, revealing the spike isn’t only the result of increased testing. Especially concerning to officials is the steady growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations — a 51% increase in the past two weeks.
Across the state, many local governments are already tightening restrictions. In the Bay Area, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Marin counties delayed some reopenings as new cases increase. Contra Costa County had planned to open several new sectors—including indoor dining, bars, and indoor museums—on July 1 but paused the timeline. Now, Newsom’s new order prevents the counties from moving forward any time soon.
In Los Angeles, officials announced earlier this week they will close beaches and ban fireworks displays in the nation’s most populous county this weekend as it hit a one-day record Tuesday of 2,903 confirmed cases and more than 100,000 cases overall.
Officials in Half Moon Bay, a scenic stretch of beaches about a half-hour’s drive from San Francisco, said people “inundated” the city over Memorial Day weekend and urged them to stay away.
“Under normal circumstances, Half Moon Bay heartily welcomes visitors — tourism is part of our identity and an important economic driver,” Mayor Adam Eisen said in a statement. ”But coming here this weekend would be reckless and unsafe for the public health. Do the right thing. Stay close to home.”