Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that 19 counties — including Los Angeles, which is currently battling a surge in COVID-19 cases — will be ordered to shut down several indoor operations for three weeks.
L.A. restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and casinos will all be impacted by the order. Newsom said that restaurants will not shut down completely, but will be encouraged to move their operations outdoors.
This comes on the heels of a weekend order for several counties grappling with rising COVID-19 positivity rates to shut down their bars and breweries. L.A. County also ordered the closure of its beaches for the Independence Day weekend.
Parking lots at state beaches in Southern California and the Bay area will be closed through Independence Day weekend.
NEW: All parking facilities at state beaches in Southern CA and the Bay Area will be CLOSED for the upcoming weekend.#COVID19 does not take 4th of July off. Avoid crowds. Do not gather with people you do not live with.
Wear a mask. Physically distance. Be smart. Do your part.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 1, 2020
The other 18 counties that will be affected by the shutdown orders are Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Solano, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura.
“Enforcement is a difficult one, I’m not naive about that,” Newsom said. “You have 40 million people in the state of California and if 40 million people turn their back on these guidelines and common sense, that is not something we can enforce.”
While Newsom did not set enforcements on the general public, he did announce the development of “Enforcement Strike Teams” to monitor business compliance with health and safety regulations.
The Strike Team will be made up of CalOSHA, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology, and CHP.
“We have a responsibility, I think, at the same time to go after the people who are thumbing their nose, that are particularly, being aggressive, reticent to do anything to not only protect you as a customer… but aren’t even protecting their workers,” Newsom said.
Newsom added that counties have the right to not enforce regulations, but “as a consequence, we have a right as a state, with the consent of the legislature and budget that I signed 24 hours ago, where there’s two and a half billion dollars contingent upon good behavior.”
This post will be updated as the story develops.