NEEDLES — California has ordered the closing of indoor operations for restaurants; movie theaters, family entertainment centers, wineries, breweries and tasting rooms, card rooms, zoos and museums.
The order by Gov. Gavin Newsom affects Los Angeles and 18 other counties where nearly three-quarters of the state’s roughly 40 million people live. The impacted counties are those seeing the most serious uptick in infections, and include almost all of Southern California, though not San Diego, which is faring better.
“The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning,” Newsom said.
The new restrictions, which affect San Bernardino County, will be in place for at least three weeks, after which the state will reevaluate the situation, Newsom said.
A couple of restaurants in Needles are adjusting quickly to the new restrictions set forth by the state.
The River Front Cafe in Needles is open for takeout only and its new hours are Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cafe may be reached at 760-326-5226.
The Wagon Wheel Restaurant is only open for takeout and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week and is setting up online ordering. Call 760-326-4305
Panda Garden, at 2302 Needles Highway, is open for pickup; call 760-326-5915.
River City Pizza Co. is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week for delivery and takeout only. It may be contacted at 760-326-9191.
Retro Pizza switched back to delivery only and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week. Retro may be contacted at 760-326-9108.
After the three weeks, the state will reevaluate the situation.
“Your board of supervisors discussed the possibility of new restrictions, and while we’re disappointed in the mandate, it’s not entirely surprising based on our county’s spike in cases and hospitalizations,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We simply have to do better in the fight against this virus. It is still not time to get together with friends and families. And wearing masks while in public has to become second nature.”
To enforce the new restrictions, the state has established a multi-agency strike team that includes the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, CalOSHA, the Department of Business Oversight, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Highway Patrol.
The teams will work in partnership with local public health departments and local businesses.
Newsom said that the enforcement initially will focus on education and encouragement rather than take a punitive approach.
Jot Condi, who heads the California Restaurant Association, said the order is devastating for restaurants that have worked to put in place safety measures and reduced seating to meet the state’s requirements for inside dining.
The changes have left many with no room to spare on revenue.
“This will be the last straw for a lot of restaurants,” Condi said, adding the state hasn’t provided evidence to specifically show dining in restaurants is helping fuel the increase in virus cases.
Ahead of the busy Fourth of July weekend, Newsom also closed state beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties to mirror local public health orders.
Other state beaches will stay open, but parking lots will close this weekend to limit overcrowding in Marin, Monterey, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.