SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered a massive retrenchment of the state’s reopening on Monday, shutting bars and banning indoor restaurant dining statewide and closing churches, gyms and hair salons in hardest-hit counties.
Newsom’s move, which undoes weeks of reopening efforts in parts of the most populous U.S. state, comes as several rural counties are experiencing strains to their hospital systems, while cases mount in large metropolitan areas including Los Angeles and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The surge in cases has also prompted two of California’s largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, to announce that they will be online only in the new term. In addition, neighboring Oregon is mandating the use of protective masks outdoors as local leaders around the United States scramble to curb a rising number of coronavirus cases nationwide.
The number of people hospitalized in California with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has risen by 28% over the past two weeks, with a 20% increase in those needing intensive care, Newsom said at a conference call with reporters in the state capital of Sacramento.
Statewide, 6,485 patients were hospitalized with coronavirus as of Sunday, with 1,833 of them requiring intensive care, according to state data.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Chris Reese)