California again shuts indoor restaurants, bars, movie theaters over virus

14 Jul 2020 / 10:00 H.

LOS ANGELES: California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered all indoor restaurants, bars and movie theaters to close again as coronavirus cases soar across the state.

Churches as well as businesses including gyms, shopping malls, hair salons and non-essential offices must also close indoor operations in 30 of the state’s worst-hit counties including Los Angeles, he said.

“We’re moving back into a modification mode of our original ‘stay-at-home’ order,“ Newsom said.

The decision was taken as hospitalizations including intensive care patients rise in the western state, which had begun to reopen in May, the governor told a press conference.

The positivity rate for those tested has climbed by more than 20 percent over the past two weeks, he said.

California reported 8,358 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing its total to nearly 330,000 including more than 7,000 deaths.

The announcement came as education officials in Los Angeles and San Diego said schools will remain closed when classes resume next month, with lessons all moved online.

“While the new school year will begin on August 18th as scheduled, it will not begin with students at school facilities,“ said Austin Beutner, schools superintendent for Los Angeles the nation’s second-largest district with some 600,000 students.

“The health and safety of all in the school community is not something we can compromise.”

The Trump administration is pushing for full school reopenings in the fall, despite the pandemic setting new daily case records in many parts of the country. -AFP

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