Gov. Newsom Orders Bars to Close in Los Angeles and 6 Other California Counties

Closure is recommended in eight additional counties

California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

In response to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order for all bars and nightclubs in Los Angeles and six other counties to close.

The seven counties ordered to close their bars are Los Angeles, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin and Tulare. Eight other counties — Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura — were not given mandates to close bars but were recommended to do so.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger,” Newsom said in a written statement. “That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases.”

The closure orders are based on analysis of the virus’ spread, which adds counties that are seeing increases in infections and hospitalizations to a watch list. Counties that have been on the watch list for 3-14 days receive orders to close bars. Any counties that are on the watch list for more than two weeks must extend closure orders to all businesses.

Statewide, over 211,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in California, with 5,906 deaths reported. Earlier this month, Newsom ordered all California residents to wear masks in public places to reduce spread of the virus, while advising officials in Imperial County to reinstate stricter stay-at-home orders after analysis found that it had the highest transmission rate of the virus of any county in the state.

The surge in cases in Los Angeles County comes as Hollywood has attempted to resume film and TV productions with FilmLA accepting new on-location shoot applications over the past two weeks. On Saturday, L.A. County reported 2,169 new cases, prompting a warning from county health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

“If we can’t find it in us to follow these mandates, including wearing face coverings and distancing when around others, we jeopardize our ability to move forward on the recovery journey,” Ferrer said. “Our collective responsibility is to take immediate action, as individuals and businesses, to reverse the trends we are experiencing.”