Coronavirus — Newsom Closes California, Again

  • “This virus is not going away any time soon,” Newsom said during a news conference in Sacramento County on Monday.
  • “I’m all for what he’s suggested. And I’m sorry it wasn’t done two weeks ago,” said John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley.
  • Newsom's orders received pushback from businesses and religious groups.

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that in order to prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus, bars and indoor restaurants will be closed throughout California. Governor Newsom ordered all California counties to close bars and indoor restaurants that day.

Gavin Newsom is the 40th and current Governor of California. He previously served as Lieutenant Governor, and Mayor of San Francisco. He is serving his first term, and was elected in November 2018 (Wikimedia).

At the same time, indoor activities in wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and chess rooms were also prohibited. In addition to state-wide orders, Newsom also ordered counties that have been listed on California’s “watch list” for at least three consecutive days to close indoor operations in fitness centers, churches, shopping malls, and hair salons.

“This virus is not going away any time soon,” Newsom said during a news conference in Sacramento County on Monday. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away . . . until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy.” Newsom also called on people not to contact people outside their family.

Over the past two weeks, counties on this “watch list” have surged from 19 to 30, covering about 80% of the state’s population. During this period, hospitalizations related to the new coronavirus increased by 28%, of which, cases requiring intensive care increased by 20%. At present, the number of deaths related to New Coronavirus in California has exceeded 7,000.

The Associated Press reported that the new order is part of California’s new strategy to control the spread of the viruse, which focuses on restricting residents’ indoor activities. Public health officials believe that indoor transmission is an important means of spreading the new coronavirus.

“I’m all for what he’s suggested. And I’m sorry it wasn’t done two weeks ago,” said John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley. “It’s too late for all the people who have gotten infected and gotten sick and all the people who have died. But it’s certainly not too late to get control.”

Barbara Ferrer, head of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, said the county’s public health guidelines will be updated to implement the new California order. Ferrer said that the data shows that everything is moving towards a worrying trend, and thousands of people in the community are infected every day.

The first case relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. state of California was confirmed on January 26, 2020. As of July 14, there have been 336,037 confirmed cases (fifth in the world, if California were its own country) and 7,096 deaths (sixth).

“Given the circumstances, it’s an appropriate step,” said Laine Hendricks, spokeswoman for Marin County Public Health, of Newsom’s orders.

“It’s unfortunate because there are some businesses that just reopened here, such as hair salons and barbershops. But given the state of COVID-19 not only in Marin, but the global ecosystem, we need to do what we can to get a handle on the spread of COVID.”

Newsom’s new order was immediately resisted by religious groups and business organizations. Fred Jones, a lawyer for the California Professional Beauty Association, said, “there is no evidence that the virus has spread in a salon since we were allowed to reopen. The governor should work with professionals, not to shut us down.”

“If you physically separate people to the point of not allowing the virus to transmit — and the only way to do that is by draconian means of essentially shutting down the country — we know that we can do that if we shut down,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told Lloyd Minor, dean of Stanford’s School of Medicine. “The Europeans have done it, people in Asia have done it. We did not shut down entirely.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the new order took effect immediately, and Newsom did not disclose when the order could be lifted.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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