California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered the closure of bars in counties like Los Angeles, and recommended closings in other counties, citing the spread of the coronavirus.
The order of Newsom, a Democrat, affected Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin, Tulare and Los Angeles counties, the most populous in the United States. State officials have asked at least eight other counties to issue local health orders to close bars.
Officials in Texas and Florida have made similar moves, essentially halting parts of their states’ economic returns as cases increase.
“COVID-19 is still circulating in California and in some parts of the state, getting stronger,” Newsom said in a written statement. “So it is critical that we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in counties that are experiencing the largest increases.”
The governor’s decision on Sunday represented a sharp turn from recent decisions to let local officials decide how and when to let businesses reopen.
CALIFORNIA COUNTY SHERIFF SAYS NEWSOM CORONAVIRUS MASK ORDER WILL NOT APPLY
Earlier this month, Newsom ordered all Californians to wear masks while in public amid concerns that residents have not voluntarily taken precautions.
California, like other states, has seen a surprising increase in cases, raising questions about whether to continue the course to reopen the economy.
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As of Sunday, there have been some 206,000 cases of the new coronavirus and nearly 5,900 deaths.
This is a developing story; Check back for updates. Fox News’ Mike Lundin contributed to this report.