California rolls back reopening due to surge in coronavirus cases
PIC: AFP

Bars and inside restaurant dining are banned throughout California, while indoor religious services, gyms and hair and nail salons are again off-limits in most of the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday in issuing a sweeping set of closures to head off surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The order is part of the state's new strategy to control the spread of the virus by focusing on limiting indoor activities to reflect public health officials' evolving understanding of how the virus spreads.

Earlier in the pandemic California closed beaches, campgrounds and state parks as it sought to limit interactions of people from different households. But as data showed the virus was most likely to be transmitted indoors, the Newsom administration began modifying public health orders, including ordering people to wear face coverings and leaving outdoor activities alone.

Newsom has repeatedly implored people to refrain from social gatherings and he expressed frustration that many aren't following the guidance.

"COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, until there is a vaccine and or an effective therapy," Newsom said.

"Limit your mixing with people outside of your household. It's just common sense, but the data suggests not everyone is practicing common sense." The city of Los Angeles immediately implemented the mandated shutdowns and Mayor Eric Garcetti said he wouldn't hesitate to go further.

Earlier this month the city created a color-coded system to designate the threat level from the virus and corresponding shutdowns.

Trump shows off US corona tests

The US has the world's biggest COVID-19 testing programme which is better than countries like India, China and Brazil, President Donald Trump has said, asserting that America has one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere.

Trump said that the huge number of positive cases is due to the massive testing efforts undertaken by his administration, more extensive than any other country. "We have one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere," the president said.

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