CALIFORNIA- California Public Health Officials issued new guidance precautions regarding bar closures in California counties on Sunday, June 28. Bar closures are now mandatory in:

  • Fresno County
  • Kern County
  • Kings County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Tulare County.

The California Department of Public Health recommended that counties included on the new County Health Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days, but less than 14 days, close bars through local health officer order. Counties that have been on the Monitoring List for 14 days or more are required to immediately close bars.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. That’s why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

Impacted Counties recommended for closure include:

  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • Santa Barbara
  • Stanislaus
  • Ventura.

Public health professionals within California and throughout the nation have identified bars as the highest risk sector of non-essential business currently open. According to public health officials, bars are a danger to the spread of Covid-19 due to:

  • Their social nature where groups of people mix
  • Alcohol consumption reducing inhibition and impairing judgment, leading to reduced compliance with recommended core personal protective measures such as the mandatory use of face coverings and the practice of social and physical distancing
  • Contract tracing is more challenging in bars because of the constant mixing among patrons and a lack of record-keeping of those in attendance.

Public health officials also declared that bars are generally louder environments requiring raised voices leading to the greater projection of saliva droplets. These factors have presented a higher likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 within groups, between groups, and among the workforce.