In the face of rapidly increasing COVID-19 infections in the state, California Gov. Gavin Newson issued guidance today, Wednesday, July 1, to 19 counties that will tighten restrictions on certain business sectors with the intent of slowing the spread of the virus.

Effective immediately, the impacted counties, including Contra Costa, are directed to close dine-in restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Outdoor operation of these businesses, where practical, is allowed provided that appropriate modifications are made to promote physical distancing and the use of face coverings.

Furthermore, all brewpubs, breweries, bars and pubs must close indoor and outdoor operations in the affected counties.

"California is seeing the virus spreading at alarming rates in many parts of the state, and we are taking immediate action to slow the spread of the virus in those areas," said Gov. Gavin Newsom. "We bent the curve in the state of California once, and we will bend the curve again. But we're going to have to be tougher, and that's why we are taking this action today."

Closures are expected to last for a minimum of three weeks.

Contra Costa County had planned to open dine-in restaurants and bars July 1. Earlier this week, however, Contra Costa Health Services revised its plans and delayed the openings indefinitely.

The 19 counties impacted by this action have been on the County Monitoring List for at least three consecutive days and account for 72% of the state’s population. The guidance applies to: Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura counties.

"Today's action is necessary to help slow the spread of this virus," said Dr. Sonia Angell, state public health officer and director of the California Department of Public Health. "We put ourselves and our community at greatest risk for COVID-19 when we mix with people who don't live with us. And if you go out, wear a face covering, keep your distance, wash your hands frequently and limit unnecessary indoor activities that increase the risk of exposure."

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