California Returns to Lockdown Measures
After enduring shutdown and lockdown measures for months, most Americans gladly accepted the terms of reopening: wear a mask, don’t gather in groups, and keep washing your hands. However, not all states have enjoyed a smooth reopening plan.
Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California are just a few of the dozens of states experiencing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases after attempting widespread reopenings. Now California has become the first state to rollback reopening measures and reinforce restrictions from the early days of lockdown.
California Begins a New Round of Shutdowns
It’s being called “California Lockdown 2.0.” As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to climb, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced in mid-July that indoor businesses would once again face restrictions, effective immediately.
The following indoor facilities were forced to close their doors last week across the state:
- Movie theaters
- Family entertainment centers
- Card rooms
The 30 hardest-hit counties in California must take lockdown measures a step further by closing the indoor operations of fitness centers, places of worship, noncritical offices, personal care services, and malls. Since the 30 counties in question represent about 80% of the state’s population, the closures will doubtlessly hit California hard.
“We’re moving back into a modification mode of our original stay-at-home order, but doing so utilizing what is commonly referred to as a ‘dimmer switch,’ not an ‘on and off switch,’” Newsom explained.
These shutdown measures will remain in effect until the state’s COVID-19 data demonstrates a consistent decline. As of Monday, July 13, state hospitals reported a 27.8% increase in hospitalized patients and a 19.9% increase in ICU hospitalized patients.
“That’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize, soberly, that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom said.
As part of these rollback measures, Walt Disney Land in Southern California has foregone its tentative July 17 reopening date and will remain closed indefinitely. Los Angeles and San Diego public schools also responded by confirming their academic school year will begin on a 100% remote basis.
Los Angeles Faces “Dangerous Phase” As Virus Cases Spike
Though the entire state of California is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, Los Angeles faces unique COVID threats. Mayor Eric Garcetti recently warned authorities were “on the verge” of resorting to shutting down all but essential businesses.
Given that Los Angeles accounts for more than half of California’s total coronavirus death total, plus the thousands of confirmed cases reported daily from the region, LA may very well face harsher restrictions if the trends continue.
“Do we want to go back to a safer-at-home order where we close everything down again? Absolutely not. None of us want to go back there,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. But without consistent adherence to mask and social distance policies, LA officials may not have an option.
“Unfortunately, we are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections that is affecting our community’s health and our reopening plans,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of public health. “As a result, we are forced to continue to pause our reopening plans until conditions improve.”