The governors of Florida and Texas have decided that recently reopened bars are the cause of record levels of new coronavirus cases in their states. On Friday, they closed down the bars there, shuttering businesses just getting back to work.
Seven states are reporting new highs for coronavirus hospitalizations, according to the Washington Post. They include Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. More than 800 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the United States on Tuesday, the first time fatalities have increased since June 7.
While Los Angeles County bars and restaurants are not yet under new shutdown orders, many owners are warily watching the situation unfolding elsewhere, as cases continue to spike in their area. Many Florida and Texas venues reordered supplies in anticipation of a surge, and now those investments in goods may not provide a return.
Officials blamed the renewed shutdowns on a lack of social distancing and not wearing masks, but also admitted that more widespread testing may be contributing to the rising numbers. Still, no one was taking any chances, and other states are taking notice. Overseas, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong all had to renew their quarantine efforts after reopening, so there are lessons to be learned already in place.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has recommended imposing a strict stay-at-home order for rural Imperial County, located east of San Diego. It now has the highest test positivity rate of any county in the state.
California is monitoring several other counties where cases have spiked. The rise of new cases has caused Newsom to hold back on orders that would open other industries across the state, including movie theaters, Disneyland and other amusement parks, which were targeting mid-July for reopening.
Several San Francisco Bay Area counties have also held back on adding to business reopenings as they monitor the situation. As San Francisco itself has a surge, it will pause its reopening, the city’s health director said Friday. Businesses scheduled to reopen Monday will now stay closed, said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. They include hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, zoos, outdoor bars and outdoor swimming pools.
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