West Hollywood’s indoor gyms and health clubs, hair salons, and churches, synagogues and other houses of worship will have to close under an order issued today by Gov. Gavin Newsom in response to rising rates of COVID-19 infections.
Citing rates of people testing positive for the coronavirus and jumps in hospitalizations, Newsom also ordered the closure of personal-care services (which include including nail salons, massage parlors, and tattoo parlors), malls and non-critical office settings.
The order affects all 30 counties on the state’s pandemic monitoring list — including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties.
The order is likely to have a major impact on local businesses that already have reopened after the initial shutdown of non-essential business that was ordered on March 19. Following that order, Newsom and L.A. County health officials began lifting restrictions on certain categories of businesses if they complied with strict social distancing and sanitation rules intended to prevent transmission of the virus. Gyms had been allowed to re-open on June 12, hair salons and barbershops on May 29 and churches and synagogues on May 26. The West Hollywood City Council on July 6 endorsed amendments to the City Manager’s COVID-19 emergency order that will allow gyms to expand outdoors into adjacent parking lots or other private property. Health experts have determined that the invisible particles of the COVID-19 virus are more likely to cluster and remain in the air in indoor places.
Newsom also ordered the statewide closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, family entertainment centers and card rooms — and the full closure of all bars. Those restrictions were already in place in West Hollywood and the rest of Los Angeles County and other counties on the state’s monitoring list, but the new order extended them statewide.
Newsom reiterated that the state’s enactment of health-restrictions was being handled with a “dimmer switch,” meaning the severity of the orders can be adjusted upward or downward based on the latest virus statistics and “trendlines.”
The state has been seeing record numbers of infections in recent days, along with increasing hospitalizations. As of Monday, Newsom said 6,485 were hospitalized across the state due to the coronavirus. The seven-day rolling average of people testing positive for the virus was 7.7%, Newsom said.
“This virus is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom said. “I hope all of us recognize that if we were still connected to some notion that somehow when it gets warm it’s going to go away or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off, this virus has done neither. You’ve seen parts of the country with very hot … weather where you’re seeing an increase in positivity rates, an increase in hospitalizations and ICUs. Here in the state of California as we’re seeing triple-digit weather in many parts of our state, we’re still seeing an increase in the positivity rate, the community transmission. We’re seeing an increase in the spread of the virus.