California Backtracks On Reopening Process

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Since mid-June California has seen a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. On June 30th the state saw 8,158 new infections and 104 deaths, making it the worst day for infections and among the worst for deaths.

In response, on Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced tougher restrictions on indoor activities for most of the state. For three weeks, the governor is halting visits to indoor restaurants, bars, wineries, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, museums and card rooms in regions hard hit by the virus. Los Angles and Sacramento are among them. Bars and drinking establishments will be able to seat customers outdoors. Additionally, Newsom is recommending the cancellation of all Fourth of July fireworks shows.

Not everyone is happy about the recent increase in restrictions. As a symbol of resistance, sheriffs in some counties said they would not enforce Newsom’s order to wear masks in public that began June 18th.

Back in May, Governor Newsom returned power to the counties to decide when they should reopen. Some observers now believe that decision was a mistake.

Effects of the pandemic are being felt through the economy. California, just like state and local governments across the country, is struggling with major budget issues. In response, Gov. Newsom is proposing steep cuts to public universities and healthcare. Critics are concerned that these spending cuts would worsen the state’s ability to manage the pandemic. The state is projecting a nine percent drop in economic activity and a peak of 25 percent unemployment during this quarter. These projections are occurring as US unemployment sat at 11.1 percent in June.

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