Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all bars and nightlife closed in seven counties, including Los Angeles County, and recommended that eight other counties also shut down their nightlife on Sunday due to the increasing spread of the coronavirus.
The other eight counties included Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Newsom tweeted the message on Sunday afternoon.
“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 across the state and working closely with counties where transmission rates and patterns are increasing,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s director of public health. “Closing the bars in these counties is one of a series of specific actions counties are taking across our state to slow the spread of the virus and reduce risk.”
Local law enforcement agencies said they were learning the order along with everyone else.
“We have just received the notice. But as of now, we have not been given any guidance, in what way. It is breaking news,” said Officer Rosario Cervantes of the Police Department’s Media Relations Section. from Los Angeles to the City News Service.
Los Angeles County officials reported “significant increases” in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and test positivity rates in the past few days, including 2,169 recently confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths reported on Saturday. Those numbers brought the county totals to 95,371 cases and 3,285 fatalities.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, the seven-day average of new daily cases is more than 1,900, an increase from the average of 1,379 two weeks ago. There are currently 1,698 people hospitalized, which is more than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks.
And, with test results now available to more than a million people, 9% are testing positive. The cumulative positivity rate increased from 8% to 9%, and the seven-day average of the daily positivity rate increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.6%.
Some officials have attributed the increase in overall cases to increased testing, but Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, repeatedly said in recent days that the metrics clearly demonstrate an increase in community spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Health officials said Friday that the increase in cases hitting the county’s youngest population is particularly difficult, likely reflecting the reopening of bars and restaurants and participation in this month’s massive protests against police brutality.
City News Service contributed to this report.