On Wednesday, July 1, California Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health released guidance directing counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days or more to close indoor operations for certain sectors which promote the mixing of populations beyond households and make adherence to physical distancing and wearing face coverings difficult.
“California is seeing the virus spreading at alarming rates in many parts of the state, and we are taking immediate action to slow the spread of the virus in those areas,” said Newsom. “We bent the curve in the state of California once, and we will bend the curve again. But we’re going to have to be tougher, and that’s why we are taking this action today.”
The guidance applies for a minimum of three weeks and is subject to an extension based on epidemiologic indicators. These sectors may modify operations to provide services outside or by pick-up. In addition, all brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs in these counties must close immediately, both indoor and outdoor.
Sectors included in today’s guidance are all high risk of transmission due to a number of features of the businesses and the behaviors that occur within them. These sectors, foundationally, are settings where groups convene and may mix with others for prolonged periods of time often without a face covering. Additionally, physical movement within the establishment, duration of time spent in the establishment, and the degree of social mixing among individuals and groups outside one’s household are all significant in these sectors, which substantially elevates the risk of transmission even where face coverings can be worn. Furthermore, in some of these sectors centered on eating and drinking, compliance with face coverings is not possible for the full duration of time someone spends in these establishments.
Community spread of COVID-19 continues to be a concern across the state, and in particular for counties on the County Monitoring List. This puts vulnerable populations, including older Californians and those who have chronic conditions or compromised immune systems, at higher risk of becoming seriously ill due to the virus.
“Today’s action is necessary to help slow the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. “We put ourselves and our community at greatest risk for COVID 19 when we mix with people who don’t live with us. And if you go out, wear a face covering, keep your distance, wash your hands frequently and limit unnecessary indoor activities that increase the risk of exposure.”
Today’s order applies to counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days. Combined these 19 counties represent approximately 72 percent of California’s population.
Impacted counties as of July 1 include: Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura.
According to a statement from the state, today’s guidance applies to the following sectors in counties on the list:
- Indoor dine-in restaurants;
- Indoor wineries and tasting rooms;
- Indoor family entertainment centers;
- Indoor movie theaters;
- Indoor zoos and museums; and
- Indoor cardrooms.
California will continue to update and issue guidance based on the best available public health data and the best practices currently employed. All industry or sector guidance documents that have been issued to date, including all infectious control measures outlined in those guidance documents, apply in outdoor settings, and thus must be adhered to.
Finally, as we approach the 4th of July holiday weekend, California is recommending that counties with mandatory closures cancel firework shows, and is reminding all Californians that they should not gather with people they do not live with and avoid crowds. Additionally, all parking facilities at state beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area will be closed for the upcoming weekend. In counties that close local beaches, the State will follow suit and close state beaches. Other state parks will remain open, with measures in place to reduce visitation and limit overcrowding.
More information about the state’s COVID-19 guidance is on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.
More information about reopening California and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus in California.