FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise throughout the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday imposed restrictions on businesses in 19 counties – several in the Central Valley.
Businesses forced to shut their indoor operations include:
- Movie theaters
- Family entertainment centers
- Zoos and museums
- Card rooms
“It means that we’re trying to take activities, many activities as we can, these mixed activities, these concentrated activities and move them outdoors, which is a way of mitigating the spread of this virus,” Newsom said.
The 19 counties affected are those that have been on the state’s monitor list for three consecutive days. The list includes Fresno, Tulare, Merced and Kings counties.
Bars in all 19 counties on the list are also set to close.
Newsom said the positivity rate over the last 14 days in the state is at 6%. Just two weeks ago, it was 4.6%.
“That’s a very high increase, may not seem too much, but every decimal point is profoundly impactful.”
In the last two weeks, hospitalizations have increased by 51%, Newsom said.
Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said he was surprised by the announcement, but understood the need to slow the spread of the virus.
“Clearly here in Fresno County, we’ve seen the positivity rate of people with COVID-19 increasing week over week and even over the course of the last 14 days to 21 days. We need to get that under control here in the county,” Magsig said.
Newsom’s order to shut down indoor operations in the 19 counties is effective immediately. The order is expected to last at least three weeks.
Chuck Van Fleet, the owner of Vino Grille & Spirits in Fresno, added more tables outside, but he is worried about other restaurants that may not be able to do the same.
“Shutting down the restaurants, just the inside dining, is going to hurt a lot of restaurants that aren’t fortunate enough to have a patio,” Van Fleet said.
As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, Newsom along with Magsig urged people to avoid gathering with people outside their households.
“Celebrate with family, celebrate with your household, but large gatherings are to be avoided,” Magsig said.
COVID-19 resource links:
- Fresno County
- Tulare County
- Madera County
- Mariposa County
- Merced County
- Kings County
- Kern County
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response