COVID-19: California re-imposes sweeping restrictions on public activities

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In a dramatic rollback of reopening efforts, California has ordered a statewide suspension of indoor operations in a number of public places, the governor of state Gavin Newsom has said.

California’s sweeping announcement comes at a time when caseloads are spiking in the state rapidly, while the east coast is seeing receding cases. New York, for instance, did not record a single death last Sunday, for the first time since pandemic.

According to the BBC, the South-Western US-state of 40 million population has encountered a 20% spurt in the number of daily infections, in the last two weeks.

Governor Newsom tweeted on Monday about the public activity restriction and mentioned restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment, zoos, museums, cardrooms will not be allowed to conduct indoor activities.’ Churches, gyms, salons, hairdressers will also continue to remain shut.

“It’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that COVID-19 is not going away any time soon until there is a vaccine and/or an effective therapy,” Newsom was quoted as saying in a news briefing.

In the past week, the state has recorded an average 8,211 daily cases; an uptick from the 7,876 average in the week before, the Guardian reports. The positivity rate has also spiked up to 7.4% from the previous week’s 6.1%.

The increasing number of cases have also lead San Diego and Los Angeles school districts to order online-only method for learning for the new school year that begins next month, according to reports. Los Angeles has been the hotspot of COVID-19 in California since the pandemic began.

“I hope all of us recognize that if we were still connected to some notion that somehow when it gets warm it’s going to go away or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off – this virus has done neither,” Gov. Newsom was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.

Gavin Newsom also mentioned 30 counties where indoor operations will continue to stay suspended since ‘COVID-19 cases and hospitalization continue to rise,’ he tweeted. Gyms, places of worship, salons, barbershops, officers, and other non-critical sectors will remain shut for the time being.

Just recently California took another major step to combat the spurt of the virus; it announced the premature release of up to 8,000 inmates from many Californian prisons, however under certain regulations for public safety.

As of July 14th, California has recorded 336,273 new cases with more than 7,000 deaths according to the New York Times tally.