California governor re-institutes statewide closures as state COVID-19 cases top 8,000 per day

California governor re-institutes statewide closures as state COVID-19 cases top 8,000 per day
Image via Flick / Gage Skidmore.
News & Politics

After attempting to tighten restrictions on a county-by-county, piecemeal basis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered a statewide re-closing of indoor activities as the state tops 8,000 new confirmed COVID-19 infections in a single day. The closures will apply to indoor restaurants, bars (including outside), movie theaters, museums, and other public spaces. CNN reports 30 counties with high caseloads—home to roughly 80% of the state's population—will also be required to close churches, gyms, barbershops, hair salons, and indoor malls.

The move is long overdue. After prior statewide shutdowns dramatically slowed pandemic spread, the state's infections have again soared—but the state attempted to respond with closures targeted at the hardest hit counties. Such restrictions are ineffective, however, when residents of high-risk areas can simply drive to an adjacent county to avoid them, possibly carrying the virus themselves. California began the pandemic with a robust response similar to New York's, but has now lost most of the protection earned by prior lockdowns with widespread public flouting of safety precautions. The state will now be starting over.

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