Orange County

Indoor dining stops, bars close

OUTDOOR dining in downtown Laguna Beach (Orange County Tribune photo).

If you like outdoor dining, today’s news from Sacramento on the coronavirus pandemic might not be so bad. If you’re the thirsty type, it’s worse.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday ordered all indoor dining business to cease and closed all bars in Orange and 18 other counties.

Also to be shuttered will be wineries, movie theaters and family entertainment (including bowling alleys, game arcades, miniature golf courses), zoos museums and cardrooms.

“This doesn’t mean restaurants are shut down,” said Newsom. “It means that we’re trying to take the activities , as many activities as we can – these mixed activities, these concentrated activities – and move them outdoors, which is a way of mitigating the spread of the virus.”

The other counties affected by the order, which is “effective immediately,” are Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles Merced, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura.

Today’s closure order came in the wake of surging reports of COVID-19 cases and deaths across not just California but in several other states which have partially re-opened.

In Orange County, the daily report from the county health care agency shows 570 new confirmed cases and five deaths. The total number of cases so far is 14,413; the total number of deaths is at 345.

The metric that’s causing much of the concern and which cast the county on to the “watch list” of areas with the pandemic surging is “positivity,” which means what percentage of people tested for the virus are “positive” for it. The “threshold” is 8 percent; as of today it’s 10.4 percent, meaning that more than one in 10 people tested have the virus, even if they have no symptoms.

Here are city-by-city counts of cases and deaths:

  • Santa Ana: 2,954 cases, 92 deaths.
  • Anaheim: 2,713 cases, 85 deaths.
  • Garden Grove: 797, nine deaths.
  • Huntington Beach: 671 cases, 38 deaths.
  • Orange: 650 cases, 15 deaths.

Local cities Westminster and Stanton and reporting 292 cases, nine deaths; and 176 cases and three deaths.

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