Amid a recent surge of coronavirus cases across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom today once again mandated the closure of restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other indoor operations in counties on the state “watch list,” including Santa Barbara County. 

Restaurants with outdoor serving areas can still operate, and in a press conference today, Newsom encouraged businesses to move “outdoors, which is a way of mitigating the spread of this virus.”

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has yet to issue an official order about the changes. 

Over 70% of the state’s population — or 19 California counties — are affected by Newsom’s latest order. The counties affected by the order spent at least three consecutive days on the “watch list” following a spike in coronavirus cases over the past two weeks.

Dine-in services at restaurants in Santa Barbara County first opened back up on May 21 as part of the county’s second phase of reopening, but a recent surge of cases brought increased hospitalization in the North County, according to the state watch list. There are approximately 2,900 total confirmed cases in the county as of July 1. 

Newsom’s July 1 order also included that bars in the 19 counties must cease all operations. Before that, on Monday, Santa Barbara County Health Officer Henning Ansorg heeded a recommendation handed down from the California Department of Public Health that Santa Barbara County, as well as seven additional counties, close down their bars.

Newsom also rolled out protections for the July 4 weekend. All parking facilities at state beaches in Southern California and the Bay Area will be closed, and Newsom recommended that counties with mandatory closures cancel fireworks shows and other gatherings. The City of Santa Barbara announced on Monday that this year’s waterfront fireworks show is canceled “in the interest of public health and safety for all residents, first responders, and city staff.”

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