Virus Outbreak

In this May 29, 2020, file photo, Jessica Ciaramitaro, Daryn Feenstra and Nicholas Soriano mix drinks while wearing face masks at the bar at San Pedro Brewing Company in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles. Coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half the U.S. states, as states are rolling back lockdowns. 

(The Center Square) – Health officials in California Sunday reported 4,297 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total statewide to 215,417 since the pandemic began. There were an additional 38 deaths reported Sunday, bringing that total to 5,934.

Of the news cases reported Sunday, 2,542 were in Los Angeles County, the second highest single-day total there. Los Angeles County accounts for 97,918 of the confirmed cases statewide and 3,305 of the fatalities.

More than 14,000 new cases have been reported since Friday and more than 35,000 people have tested positive in the last week. The state’s seven-day average of new cases is now 5,015, up from 3,059 two weeks ago.

The California Department of Public Health says there are now 5,790 people hospitalized across the state for coronavirus, including 1,500 who are in intensive care units. The number of hospitalizations has increased by about 1,000 over the past week.

Also on Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsome issued an executive order closing bars and nightclubs in seven counties and asked local health officials in eight other counties to take similar action on their own to close such businesses.

“It is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases,” he said in a statement.

Newsome’s order includes Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings and Imperial counties. Health departments in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Stanislaus counties were asked to issue local orders.

The order applies to establishments that sell alcohol without serving food at the same time. Those that do serve food are being asked to focus on takeout and outdoor dining service.

The counties impacted were chosen based on daily reports of new cases. Counties on the state’s “watch list” for more than 14 consecutive days are included in Newsome’s order, while counties on the list between three and 14 days were the ones asked for local closures.

Health officials said people in bars remove face masks often to drink and loud music can force patrons to raise their voices, thereby increasing the amount and distance covered by airborne particles.

Among the confirmed cases in California, at least 28 family members of a man who died of coronavirus in mid-June have tested positive. They include the man’s wife, three sons, a pregnant sister-in-law, three young children and several extended family members.

The family told health officials they did not hold any large gatherings, but did have contact with each other at various times.