On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered San Joaquin County and six others throughout the state to keep bars, breweries and brewpubs closed as COVID-19 cases continued to rise. He also recommended that bars be closed or not allowed to reopen in Sacramento County and seven others, but did not require it.
“Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” Newsom said in a statement. “COVID-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger. That’s why it is critical we take this step.”
San Joaquin County Public Health Services had not yet given the OK for bars or nightclubs located in the county to reopen, Lodi city spokesman Jeff Hood said.
However, some bars in Lodi have been operating in violation of the countywide order, he said. In mid-May, the Lodi City Council gave direction to the Lodi Police Department that the order should not be enforced. The council has supported Lodi police officers visiting non-compliant businesses to educate them about the spread of COVID-19, but indicated on May 20 that they would prefer the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office handle enforcement of the San Joaquin County Public Health Officer's order.
Counties where bars have been ordered to close or remain closed have been on the state's COVID-19 monitoring list for 14 days. In addition to San Joaquin, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles and Tulare counties were included in the state's order. Like San Joaquin County, the health department in Imperial County had not yet approved reopening bars.
Wineries and restaurants (including bars or breweries that serve food) were not included in the order, but Newsom asked them to continue following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, and asked them to encourage guests to order items for takeout rather than eating on the premises as much as possible. Wineries were allowed to reopen in San Joaquin County on June 19.
In addition to Sacramento, the state recommended bars also close in Contra Costa, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Ventura counties. Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties had not yet approved the reopening of bars.
“Closing bars in these counties is one of a number of targeted actions counties are implementing across our state to slow the virus’ spread and reduce risk,” Dr. Sonia Angell, the State of California's public health officer, said in a statement.
On Saturday, June 27, San Joaquin County had reported a total of 3,093 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,061 being reported over the previous 14 days. A total of 262 were reported in the 95240 and 95242 ZIP codes since the county began tracking cases in March, most of those over the past 14 days. Public Health Services had not updated the numbers since Saturday morning at the time of publication of this article.
According to the State of California's Department of Public Health, San Joaquin County currently has 126 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals, including 30 in ICU beds, and 28 suspected but unconfirmed COVID-19 patients, including 7 in ICU beds. A total of 47 ICU beds are available in the county.
To read the full state order closing bars, visit www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Bar-Closure-Guidance.aspx. For additional demographic data on San Joaquin County cases, along with information about which businesses have been allowed to reopen, visit www.sjcphs.org. For statewide data, visit covid19.ca.gov/data-and-tools.
San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Alexei Koseff contributed to this report.