The Fourth of July weekend got taken down a notch when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday the immediate shutdown of bars, indoor operations in restaurants, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, breweries, wineries, zoos and museums.
Restaurants may offer outdoor dining and curbside pickup, but indoor dining is prohibited.
The mandate was placed on 19 counties, including the County of San Bernardino, that have been on a watch list for coronavirus outbreaks.
The restrictions will go beyond the weekend—they will be in place for at least three weeks, after which the state will re-evaluate the situation.
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors held a three-hour hearing Tuesday morning to consider whether to close bars Friday night if numbers did not get better, but the board did not have to make the tough decision after all.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman said the governor’s decision is not entirely surprising based on the county’s spike in cases and hospitalizations.
“We simply have to do better in the fight against this virus,” he said. “It is still not the time to get together with friends and extended families.” He said wearing mask in public must become second nature.
Over the past two weeks, the state has seen a 51 percent increase in hospitalizations and a 47 percent increase in ICU admissions, according to the governor.
San Bernardino County reported 753 new cases on Tuesday, the highest number so far on a single day, and four deaths, said officials.
Hospitalizations continue to go up, with 393 COVID-19 positive patients in county hospitals on Monday, June 29, up from 376 on Sunday, June 28.
The rise in COVID-related hospital and ICU beds has seen a steady increase since June 17, officials said.
Interim public health director Corwin Porter told the board Tuesday that there has been a rapid rise in cases over the last few weeks.
He attributed sharp spikes to a data load from a system upgrade or a high number of entries that had not been entered.
Mr. Porter also attributed the increases to various gatherings. “It might be protests and holidays, but definitely family gatherings are leading to this,” he said.
“Also impacting this is reopening a lot of sectors where people are out mixing more,” he said.
Contact tracing shows that the spread is occurring at gatherings with family or friends, he said.
The 20 to 34 age range “popped out” as the predominant age group where cases are occurring more than other populations, Mr. Porter said.
There is a growing body of evidence that large outbreaks are tied to bars, where more time is spent in close proximity with poor circulation, no masks, impaired judgement, and loud talking resulting in more droplets.
He said the spread is higher in the urban areas around the I-10 corridor and much less in rural areas, such as Needles with just six cases, the mountain areas, and deserts farther from urban centers.
Mr. Hagman said he has been to restaurants that are not following guidelines. He said more people are getting coronavirus from people they are familiar with than from strangers.
Chino has a total of 1,417 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths and Chino Hills has 264 cases and two deaths, according to San Bernardino County statistics as of Champion press time Friday morning.
Chino’s count includes San Bernardino County residents at the California Institution for Men (CIM) and the California Institution for Women (CIW), both in Chino.
Fourteen deaths of San Bernardino County residents are associated with CIM.
One month ago, Chino had 657 cases and six deaths and Chino Hills had 107 confirmed coronavirus cases and two deaths, county numbers show. Countywide, there are 12,746 positive cases countywide, which is 8.7 percent of the 146,306 tested.
There are 265 deaths attributed to the virus, which is 2.0 percent of the county’s reported cases.
Other confirmed positive cases and deaths in the county as of early Friday morning are:
Adelanto 179 cases, 4 deaths; Apple Valley 181 cases, 2 deaths; Barstow 62 cases, 2 deaths; Big Bear City 6 cases, 0 deaths; Big Bear Lake 9 cases, 0 deaths; Bloomington 230 cases, 4 deaths; Blue Jay, 1 case, 1 death; Colton 577 cases, 20 deaths; Crestline 21 cases, 2 deaths; Fontana 1,532 cases, 21 deaths; Fort Irwin 2 cases, 0 deaths; Grand Terrace 62 cases, 4 deaths; Hesperia 354 cases, 3 deaths; Highland 383 cases, 6 deaths; Joshua Tree 19 cases, 2 deaths; Loma Linda 145 cases, 1 death; Mentone 76 cases, 1 death; Montclair 288 cases, 6 deaths; Morongo Valley 8 cases, 0 deaths; Oak Hills 43 cases, 1 death; Ontario 1,243 cases, 34 deaths; Phelan 43 cases, 0 deaths; Rancho Cucamonga 608 cases, 11 deaths; Redlands 567 cases, 42 deaths; Rialto 753 cases, 9 deaths; Rimforest 1 case, 0 deaths; Running Springs 8 cases, 0 deaths; San Bernardino 2,178 cases, 20 deaths; Twentynine Palms 14 cases, 0 deaths; Upland 351 cases, 13 deaths; Victorville 578 cases, 8 deaths; Wrightwood 2 case, 0 deaths; Yucaipa 354 cases, 25 deaths; Yucca Valley 43 cases, 1 death; undetermined locations 544 cases, 1 death.