Bars in Orange County Ordered to Close Before July 4th Weekend

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By KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

Bars in Orange County are ordered to close effective at 12:01 a.m. Thursday before the long July 4th weekend.

The Orange County Health Care Agency said in a tweet Wednesday morning "...bars, pubs, breweries, & brewpubs that do not offer dine-in meals are ordered closed by Acting County Health Officer."

This comes just a few days after Gov. Newsom added Orange County to a list of counties the state will monitor. 

Effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, & continuing until further notice, bars, pubs, breweries, & brewpubs that do not offer dine-in meals are ordered closed by Acting County Health Officer. Visit https://t.co/KLLV4w9tvd to read Order & related FAQs. #OCCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/RMLS7opOFu

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) July 1, 2020

As of Tuesday afternoon, KNX reporter Margaret Carrero reported as of right now, no decision has been made about bars or about beaches closure ahead of the holiday weekend.

OC could join LA and Riverside Counties in shutting down its bars after Newsom ordered bar closures for those two counties on Sunday.  According to the Orange County Health Agency on Tuesday, there was a record 779 new positive daily COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths reported today.

"If we are not careful in protecting each other we may reach a point again where we will need to shut down parts of our county and our economy. There is no question in my mind now about the need for social distancing, good sanitary practices and face coverings, " Supervisor Andrew Do said.

OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett tells KNX 1070 News that the county is also on the state watch list due to a high number of positive COVID-19 cases. She says by being proactive the bars could reopen sooner than if the state is forced to close them.

"We can do it voluntarily. If we get on the watch list for a consecutive period of time, then the state would come in and would have an automatic closure and with an indefinite reopening date. We would much rather be proactive. Public health and safety is our priority," Bartlett said.

A final decision will be made by the OC Health officer in the next day or two.

 Last week, OC reported its highest one-day death toll as it dropped its requirement to wear masks in public earlier this month. In June, Interim Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau says the county is reviewing the Governor's order and he anticipates making changes in the county's regulation.

On June 18, Newsom announced a statewide mandate on wearing masks in public. He also threatened to cut funding from California counties who weren't adhering to the COVID-19 safety measures.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County saw its highest daily COVID-19 cases and record hospitalizations Monday.