Coronavirus: Newsom calls for all Calif. seniors to self-isolate, all bars to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Sunday, March 15, 2020
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California Governor, Gavin Newsom calls for closures of all bars and wineries in the state and that everyone 65 years and older home isolate to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

SACRAMENTO (KGO) -- As the number of coronavirus cases in California rapidly escalates, Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling for all bars and wineries in the state to close. Newsom is also asking all Californians age 65 and older and those with chronic conditions to isolate themselves at home.

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"We are calling for the home isolation of all those 65 years or older and all those with chronic conditions," Newsom said.

He said all bars, wineries and brewpubs should be closed. Restaurants, he said, can remain open but to enforce social distancing, their permitted occupancy should be cut in half.

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"We believe this is a nonessential function in our state," Newsom said, referring to the bars. "And we believe that is appropriate under the circumstances to move in that direction.

The state also will reduce current occupancy in restaurants by half to keep people farther away from each other, Newsom said at a news conference. It comes as the Illinois governor shut down all bars and restaurants and officials elsewhere said they were considering similar restrictions.

Newsom issued guidance last week to cancel or postpone gatherings large and small that have roiled California's economy, which is the fifth-largest in the world.

The number of coronavirus cases in California has increased to 335, a 14% increase from just the day before, Newsom said.

The governor said there have been six deaths in the state related to COVID-19.

He said state labs have conducted thousands of tests and are ramping up their ability to test at a faster basis.

Newsom's announcement comes as the number of cases in the Bay Area have increased to over 200.

Worldwide, the number of cases has increased to more than 162,000 with 6,000 deaths according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

In the United States, the number of cases has exceeded 3,200, with 62 deaths.

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