California Holiday Warning: Assume Everyone Is Infectious

One county gives up on having beaches open after lifeguards test positive
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2020 4:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Worried about the rising number of coronavirus cases, California officials have closed beaches and ruled out indoor dining for the holiday weekend. And they're stepping up their warnings: "Only leave for essential activities like going to work or going to the market," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti implored residents. "And you should assume everyone around you is infectious." A big concern is hospital capacity. Among the worrisome indicators is the jump in positive coronavirus test results, a 51% increase in the past two weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. And the state set records for confirmed coronavirus hospitalizations for 12 straight days. Gov. Gavin Newsom repeated his appeal to avoid gatherings with people of different households. "We're still in the first wave of this crisis," he said. "It requires some level of personal responsibility."

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Beaches throughout Southern California are shut. Newport Beach was going to keep its beaches open, until two lifeguards tested positive. Santa Cruz County had tried to close its beaches just for the prime afternoon hours, but had to give up last week when people showed up anyway, per the Times. "People are not willing to be governed anymore in that regard," the county health officer said. Restaurants, too, are looking for answers after briefly being allowed to open, until Newsome's order Wednesday prohibiting indoor dining for three weeks. The new order "is a huge step back for all the restaurants," said a man who was about to open a new gourmet burger place, per KNBC. "It's not fair to anybody." The head of the California Restaurant Association said, "It's chaos." Like other aspects of the pandemic, nobody's sure how to get back on track. "There's not like a consultant you can hire to fix this," another restaurant owner said. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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