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As California Recloses Bars & Restaurants, Here’s Where Retail Stands

As coronavirus cases continue to spike in the state, California is shutting some sectors of its economy back down.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on July 1 the immediate close of indoor operations for a range of businesses — among them restaurants, wineries, zoos, museums and movie theaters — in 19 counties that have seen recent increases in COVID-19 infections. Those counties together account for over 70% of the state’s population, including Los Angeles and Orange counties along with Santa Clara.

“The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” the Newsom said in a press conference on Wednesday.

The governor also ordered bars in the 19 named counties to cease all operations for now, expanding an order enacted in seven counties on Sunday. In-store shopping remains open for the time being, but it is possible retailers will be ordered to reclose if cases do not begin to fall soon.

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California Retailers Association President Rachel Michelin issued a statement in response to the closure urging individuals who shop at retail stores to wear face masks, maintain six feet of distance from others, carry hand sanitizer and continue to wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, which she says is “for everyone’s benefit.”

“California’s retail industry’s top priority is ensuring the health, safety and well being of employees and customers,” Michelin said. “CRA has developed a number of best practices that we continue to share with retailers large and small as well as consumers to protect from the spread of COVID-19. Our members are committed to working with the Governor’s office and local governments up and down the state to provide local leaders, businesses and their communities with safe shopping guidelines. It is imperative that we continue to protect the health and viability of not only each other, but our economy.”

California joined a growing list of states to ease back on reopening plans as coronavirus cases continue to climb — with Texas, Florida and Arizona also reversing openings. The former two states were among the first in the country to pull back on restrictions.

On Wednesday, the United States recorded 52,789 new coronavirus cases — the largest single-day toll since the pandemic began. As of June 30, California had reported more than 232,000 infections, along with 6,090 fatalities.

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