Strict new coronavirus restrictions were announced on Tuesday for swaths of California, including Sacramento — where the mayor begged residents: “for God’s sake stop gathering.”
Health officials in the Golden State said they were demoting Sacramento and two other northern counties to the most restrictive “purple tier” status, in the hopes of stopping a surge of new COVID-19 cases there.
Following the announcement, Mayor Darrell Steinberg issued a dramatic plea.
“I cannot say clearly enough – for God’s sake stop gathering,” Steinberg said in a statement.
“We have it in our power to reverse this trend.”
Under the re-opening rollback, hundreds of local businesses and houses of worship will once again be forced to halt or reduce indoor activities, with restaurants being allowed to offer outdoor dining only, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The restrictions will officially start Friday in Sacramento in order to give businesses time to prepare.
The mayor acknowledged that with the holidays approaching, it’ll be tough for people to avoid gathering. But he challenged residents to “make new traditions, find new ways to be together virtually, to be safe and to be patient.”
“There is something right about redefining what holiday cheer means in 2020,” Steinberg said. “It means putting public health first, everything else we cherish depends on this.”
In addition to Sacramento, state officials demoted the reopening status of 10 other counties, with Stanislaus and San Diego also moved back to the “purple tier.”
Officials in San Francisco also announced they were rolling back re-opening plans on Tuesday, amid a spike in COVID-19 case rates, local outlet KGO-TV reported.
Starting on Friday, there’ll be no more indoor dining in the city and fitness centers and movie theaters will see their capacity reduced.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
“Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again.”
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