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California Retail Stores Are Still in the Clear As State Pulls Back Reopening Plans

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, California is further rolling back the reopening of certain sectors of its economy.

During a daily briefing on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the immediate statewide closure of all indoor operations at a range of businesses — including restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums and movie theaters — with bars ordered to cease all operations.

Newsom imposed additional restrictions in 30 of California’s 58 counties, forcing indoor operations to close at malls, fitness centers, places of worship and hair salons as well as offices for “non-critical” sectors. Those counties, which include well-populated Los Angeles and Orange counties along with San Diego and Sacramento, together represent about 80% of the state’s population.

“We were able to suppress the spread of this virus, we were able to knock down the growth of this in the beginning,” Newsom said in Monday’s briefing. “We’re going to do that again, there’s no doubt in my mind.”

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“We’re continuing to see hospitalization rates rise in the state, we’re continuing to see a modest increase in ICU [admissions] and we continue to experience an increase in the rate of positivity,” he continued. The aim of the reclosures, the governor added, is to take “activities happening inside and [move] them outside.”

For now, outdoor shopping centers and individual brick-and-mortar retail units are able to stay open across the state. However, as FN has previously reported, California is considering ordering the reclosure of nonessential retailers should cases continue to rise.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the state had recorded over 329,000 COVID-19 infections as of July 12, a day-over-day rise of 8,358. More than 7,000 Californians have died of the virus, and the state’s positive test rate has hit a two-week average of 7.4%, after dropping to about 4% during the early stages of reopening.

It’s not just California that has experienced a recent climb in cases. According to a Reuters analysis, cases have spiked in 40 of the 50 U.S. states over the past two weeks, with Florida, Arizona and Texas emerging as hotspots of the virus. Overall, the U.S. has recorded the most COVID-19 cases and deaths of any country, with more than 3.3 million confirmed infections as well as over 135,000 fatalities.

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