Governor Closes All Bars, Breweries and Wineries
Not Ready Yet to Call Out National Guard to Lock-Down Infected Areas
March 19, 2020
In an unprecedented statewide move, Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference Sunday that he's ordering all bars, breweries, and wineries in the state to close, regardless of their size, in order to create "deep social distancing." He did not dictate a specific period of time for these closures.
Culver City has a rich history of local bars and nightclubs especially with the rise in popularity of karake.
Newsom further ordered all people aged 65 and over and those with underlying health conditions to remain at home in self-isolation for the time being.
"We are guided by science, and not by a framework of hysteria," Newsom said. "There's a narrative and a thread that connects what we've done [as a state] since the beginning of this pandemic."
As of Sunday, California has over 300 confirmed cases of the virus, which represents at least a 14% increase from the day before - Newsom quoted a figure of 335 cases, while the Chronicle has a total of 421, with 236 of those in the Bay Area. And the state has now seen a total of six deaths. He said testing for the virus had ramped up sharply, but there are still capacity issues and there is a two- to three-day turnaround for the tests. A total of 8,300 people have been tested in California so far.
Newsom also announced that the Grand Princess cruise ship is departing the Port of Oakland this evening at 7 p.m. with between 330 and 340 crew members, a "skeleton crew" that remains after the rest of the crew has left the country on flights. The boat will then remain in San Francisco Bay for the remainder of the crew's 14-day quarantine.
Newsom also announced that the state had procured more ventilators for the healthcare system, for a total of 7,587. The state has 74,000 hospital bed totals, including approximately 11,500 ICU beds.
There were questions as to what further orders may be coming vis a vis use of the National Guard to lock down specific regions, and Newsom said, "We're not there yet."
"We will exercise our broad authority... We have teams analyzing what worked and didn't work in China, what's worked and didn't work in Italy, in Spain and France... And to the extent we need to leverage any [of our powers at the state level], we will when the time comes," Newsom said.
Newsom's announcement follows just two days after the San Francisco Department of Public Health ordered all bars with capacities over 100 people to close until May 1. Many in the local bar industry were quick to point out that leaving bars open with 99-person capacity seemed counter-intuitive. Bars that serve food fall in the restaurant category, and were permitted to stay open at 50-percent capacity, similar to Newsom's latest order.