CALIFORNIA'S coronavirus surge has forced Governor Gavin Newsom to shut bars, indoor dining, gyms, churches, and a handful of other venues as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed to more than 8,000 a day.
The governor made the announcement on Monday to roll back the state's reopening amid an increase in hospitalizations.
Newsom’s move is part of the state’s new strategy to control the spread of the virus by focusing on limiting indoor activities.
It also reflects public health officials’ evolving understanding of how the virus spreads.
“In many parts of our state, we’re still seeing an increase in the positivity rate, the community transmission, 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,” Newsom said in a press conference.
Bars and indoor restaurant dining are banned throughout California, while indoor religious services, gyms, mall, and hair and nail salons are again off-limits in 30 counties.
On Monday the California Department of Public Health reported 8,358 new cases of COVID-19.
The Golden State now has a total of 329,162 positive cases.
There have been a total of 7,040 deaths in the state
The governor also added that COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 28 percent over the past two weeks.
“COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, until there is a vaccine and or an effective therapy,” Newsom said.
He continued and urged Californians to limit "mixing with people outside of your household. It’s just common sense, but the data suggests not everyone is practicing common sense.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned via Twitter that LA COVID-19's threat meter is on "the border of going to red", referring to the highest level that would prompt a complete shutdown.
“I know how tough this is on business owners, employees and the general public,” Mayor Garcetti said.
He continued: “We can wear a mask. We can clean our hands. We can keep 6 feet between us.”
“And in doing so,” the mayor went on, “we can accelerate the day forward when we are back at school, and our economy is roaring back and we can rebuild our prosperity.”
Earlier in the pandemic California closed beaches, campgrounds and state parks as it sought to limit interactions of people from different households.
But as data showed the virus was most likely to be transmitted indoors, the Newsom administration began modifying public health orders, including ordering people to wear face coverings and leaving outdoor activities alone.
The surge in cases has also prompted two of California’s largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, to announce that they will be online only in the new term.
Virtual classes for the roughly 600,000 K-12 students in Los Angeles are set to begin on August 18 and the approximately 120,000 students in San Diego return to remote learning August 31, KCRA reports.
Nonetheless, teachers are demanding the state to put clearer guidelines and rules in place for reopening.
“We cannot reopen schools until it is safe," said the California Teachers’ Association.
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