Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to close bars in seven counties, including Los Angeles, is the first major setback in efforts to reopen the economy in the most populous US state. On Friday, Texas and Florida ordered all bars to be closed.
On Saturday, for the third consecutive day, the number of confirmed cases in the United States jumped by more than 40,000, one of the strongest outbreaks in the world.
Even in states where cases have been decreasing for weeks, bars have been a source of epidemics. A bar in East Lansing, Michigan, has been linked to more than 85 cases, according to local health officials who say the number is likely to increase.
In addition to bars, Texas closed tubing and rafting on Friday to avoid crowds like those seen on Saturday in Arizona along the Salt River east of Phoenix.
As temperatures rose above 100 F, dozens of people climbed into inflatable tubes with coolers and took the water to escape the heat. Very few wore masks.
Some Florida beaches are also closing before the July 4 holiday next weekend, which would have drawn large crowds.
In Arizona, cases have increased 267% so far in June and jumped from a record 3,857 cases on Sunday, the eighth record increase this month. Georgia reported a record increase of 2,225 cases on Sunday. Fifteen states, including California, Florida and Texas, recorded record case increases last week.
Global COVID-19[female[feminine The number of cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday according to a Reuters count, marking a milestone in the spread of the respiratory disease that has so far killed nearly half a million people in seven months.
By Lisa Shumakmer
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report