Gov. Newsom forcing bar closures in Fresno, Kings and Tulare Counties due to rise in COVID-19 cases

Local counties on this list include Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties. All of these counties have over 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just weeks after getting the green light to reopen, bars in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and several other counties have been ordered by the state to close once again.

Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday people in bars are letting their guard down, especially after a few drinks.

The lack of social distancing and people not wearing masks inside bars are contributing factors to a rise in new cases, according to the governor.

"You're in a bar, you're moving around, you're drinking, your mask is off, you're close to other people, we're seeing that in other countries," said Newsom.

The order shuts down any bar, brewpub or pub that primarily sells alcoholic drinks.

Establishments that serve food along with alcohol will be subject to stricter dine-in rules or asked to focus on takeout and patio service.

California is seeing an upward trend of community spread within a 14-day average.

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Local counties on this list include Fresno, Tulare and King Counties. All of these counties have over 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The state continues to see increased evidence of community spread in various areas of the state, including Tulare County, where it reported 500 new positive cases in the last week alone.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Tracking Central California COVID-19 cases
Although the mandate pertains to bars that do not serve food, places like Vyxn Restaurant and Bar in northeast Fresno are taking an extra precaution to close its doors for two weeks.

Owner Lewis Everk made the decision to furlough his staff of 35 over the weekend.

"The restaurants and bars - our industry is kinda caught in the middle because we can only do so much," Everk said. "The responsibility lies with the individual. We cannot force people to wear a mask."

Everk does not agree his industry is to blame when it comes the recent uptick in Valley cases.

"I agree with the precautions being taken," he said. "I just don't feel that restaurants and bars are solely responsible for that. I feel that it's an easy scapegoat for people to say, 'it's bars, it's only bars that's causing this uptick in cases.'"

Bars failing to comply with this recent mandate by the State could potentially lose their liquor license by the Alcoholic Beverage Control.
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