Governor Gavin Newsom is recommending bars in Riverside and several other California counties close due to the spread of coronavirus. Bars have been open with modifications in Riverside County since June 12.
As part of the same action, Newsom required bars in Los Angeles and four other counties to close.
“Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” said Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement released by his office. “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 increases. Each of us has the power to limit the spread of this virus. Wear a face covering and keep physically distant outside the home. Don’t gather in groups, and if you are older or have a condition that puts you at higher risk of COVID-19, protect yourself by staying home.”
Riverside County's rising case numbers have placed it on the state's watch list. In the areas of 'Elevated Disease Transmission" and "Limited Hospital Capacity," Riverside County exceeds state thresholds in three of four categories measured. See the chart below.
Newsom is recommending all counties "on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, close bars through local health officer order."
Counties that have been on the Monitoring list "for 14 days or more are required to immediately close bars."
"California is using data and science to guide our response to COVID-19. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties where there are increased rates and concerning patterns of transmission. Closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. “We all have our part in the fight against community spread of COVID 19. If you go out then remember, wear a face covering, keep your distance and wash your hands frequently.”
The Governor's office says,"Community spread of COVID-19 continues to be a concern across the state, and in particular for counties on the County Monitoring List. Community spread increases the likelihood of expanded transmission of COVID-19 in settings such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, jails and prisons. Counties will continue to take action to limit the transmission of COVID-19, including reinstituting community measures such as the closure of bars."
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In a statement to News Channel 3, Riverside County spokesperson Brooke Federico said, "At this time, the governor has recommended that bars close in Riverside County as a measure to slow the spread of the disease. We are working closely with the state to determine next steps regarding bars, including any potential impacts to restaurants that also have bars. As soon as more information is available, we will share with the community and the media.
Riverside County continues to see increased cases of coronavirus, and these cases have resulted in increased hospitalizations. All community members are urged to wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance from others and wash their hands frequently as these steps are known to slow and prevent the spread of the disease. All businesses that have reopened in Riverside County should follow the state and local reopening guidance available online at www.RivCoBizHelp.org."
Some bars in Coachella Valley have already been shuttered due to coronavirus concerns. Dringk in Rancho Mirage closed their bar after what they described as hateful backlash over social distancing and face coverings. Two Palm Springs bars closed their doors due to an employee testing positive for coronavirus. Hunters Nightclub and Streetbar in Palm Springs will be closed until further notice. All employees who were close or in contact with the infected employee will have to get tested as well as quarantine for 14-days. Both bars' management posted on their Facebook pages informing customers of the new changes. They said they want their staffs to be safe, as well as others around them, and will inform guests when it is safe to reopen their doors to the public again.
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