CALIFORNIA CLOSES BARS, INDOOR RESTAURANT DINING
PHOENIX — California closed down bars, theaters and indoor restaurant dining all over again across most of the state Wednesday, and Arizona’s outbreak grew more severe by nearly every measure, as the surging coronavirus crisis across the South and West sent a shudder through the country.
The run-up in confirmed cases has been blamed in part on what New Jersey’s governor has called “knucklehead behavior” by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules.
“The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in dramatically expanding the round of closings he announced over the weekend.
The announcement, which came ahead of what is expected to be a busy Fourth of July weekend, applies to 19 counties encompassing nearly three-quarters of California’s 40 million people, including Los Angeles County.
Confirmed cases in California have increased nearly 50% over the past two weeks, and COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone up 43%. Newsom reported nearly 5,900 new cases and 110 more deaths in 24 hours.
Florida recorded more than 6,500 new cases — down from around 9,000 on some days last week, but still alarming.
“Too many people were crowding into restaurants late at night, turning these establishments into breeding grounds for this deadly virus,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. per day has roughly doubled over the past month, hitting 44,800 on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The virus in the U.S. is blamed for more than 127,000 deaths.
A booth is taped off for social distancing at Mariscos Linda restaurant Wednesday in Los Angeles.