FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — After only two weeks of being opened, many bars and breweries are now being forced to shut down again after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in several counties including Fresno, Tulare, and Kings Counties.
Because of the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases across the state, Newsom announced a mandatory closure of bars, breweries, and pubs that do not serve food.
Lewis Everk, owner of Vxyn and Lux in north Fresno, says even though his establishments serve food, he is taking extra precaution and closing down until further notice.
“It’s just created too much of a strain on our business and our mental health to continue to be open during this time,” Everk said.
In downtown Fresno, Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company’s Beer Garden was open on Sunday until the governor’s tweet.
“We reacted pretty quickly, we shut down and started promoting our online sales again and to-go sales,” Owner of Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company, Michael Cruz said.
Cruz says they are now working to contract with a food vendor so they can remain open under the state’s order. He hopes to be open by next weekend.
“The way to move forward and not have us regress again is for people to follow protocol and not just the restaurants but the patrons that are attending them,” Cruz said.
In Tulare County, the health department says within the last week they’ve had more than 600 new COVID-19 cases.
“Most concerning to us in Tulare county, we are now reporting the highest number of hospitalizations in the county than we’ve ever reported throughout the pandemic,”Carrie Monteiro with Tulare County Health and Human Services said.
County officials say most cases are now community spread so the closure of social establishments is needed.
“The state is prepared to take action through the alcohol beverage and control board through enforcement of this action,” Monteiro said.
The City of Fresno released a statement regarding the governors order it reads in part.
“We understand this action is clearly meant to show the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for each and every one of us to take every precaution to reduce the spread of coronavirus in our community.”City of Fresno