Following the lead of Texas and Florida, Los Angeles County is the latest area to shut down bars and nightclubs. Governor Gavin Newsom has decided to do this based on the rapid increase in COVID-19 positive tests. This went info effect immediately starting Sunday, June 28th. Bars and night clubs were recently given the green light to re-open on June 18th – only 10 days prior. Newsom made this announcement in conjunction with Dr. Sonia Angell, the State Public Health Director; LA Mayor Eric Garrett also backed the decision.
Per Newson, “COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. 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 increase.”
Who does this affect?
Aside from Los Angeles County, several other counties are also affected. That includes the counties of Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings, and Imperial. On top of that, other counties will follow suite. Those counties are Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Stanislaus. (Note: in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Imperial, bars were not open. Local officials are stating that bars should remain closed here.)
Following the guidelines from other states, if a venue serves more alcohol than food, they must shut down. Venues that do sell primarily food will have to adhere to strict dine-in guidelines or possibly revert to take out only. Other venues may have to alter plans to be able to stay open.
Why this decision?
On Sunday, California had their second highest daily total of cases since the pandemic began, reporting 2,542 cases. The cases are being closely monitored per county and additional actions may take place, in an effort to continue to slow the spread.
The biggest concern with bars and nightclubs is that the spaces are crowded. People are standing directly next to each other and frequently taking off their mask to drink. This leads to a concern that more virus-contaminated airborne particles will spread quickly.
Of course, many people are upset about this decision. Angie Sharma-Wesiberger, whose family owns Elvie’s Inn in Covina, is one of those people. She said “They need to rethink this process going forward because COVID will obviously be part of our lives for the rest of the year.”
Whether you agree or disagree with this decision, the need to slow the spread of COVID-19 is real. What do you think? Will other establishments begin to close too?