LOS ANGELES — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for all Golden State bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close to help stop coronavirus spread.
Also Sunday the governor urged seniors 65 and older and people with chronic conditions to isolate themselves at home.
Newsom said the state will reduce current occupancy in restaurants by half to keep people farther away from each other.
“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 governor said the state has 5.3 million residents age 65 or older. People in that population, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are considered particularly vulnerable as the virus spreads worldwide.
Ohio and Illinois’ governors have already shut down all bars and restaurants and officials elsewhere around the country reportedly are considering similar restrictions.
Newsom’s call for the shutdowns was described as “guidance” rather than a legal order by the government but he said he felt confident the public would voluntarily comply.
“If you want to establish a framework of martial law, we have the capacity to do that but we are not at this moment feeling that is a necessity,” Newsom said.
The number of coronavirus cases in California had increased to 335 as of midday Sunday, a 14 percent increase from Saturday, according to the governor and there have been at least six deaths in the state related to COVID-19.