Kern and more than a dozen other counties in California must stop indoor dining at restaurants, and completely shut down bars, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums for at least the next three weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday during his daily briefing. 

In an effort to stem a new surge in cases from the upcoming holiday weekend, Newsom also urged people to avoid gathering with others outside their household and to avoid crowds. 

“California is seeing the virus spreading at alarming rates in many parts of the state, and we are taking immediate action to slow the spread of the virus in those areas,” Newsom said. “We bent the curve in the state of California once, and we will bend the curve again. But we’re going to have to be tougher, and that’s why we are taking this action today.”

Just two hours before the announcement, the Bakersfield Museum of Art had reopened its doors since closing due to the stay-at-home order. Executive director Amy Smith said news that the local institution had to shut down felt like a roller coaster. 

"We are open today and not open tomorrow," Smith said. 

But, she said: "This is what is necessary and if this is what the state requires. We have all our systems in place and we’re ready to go whenever we’re allowed to reopen."

"I want to cry," said Katie Corrigan, chief operating officer at The BLVD, which had recently reopened its bowling lanes, arcades, as well as dining indoors. She was waiting for her head chef to arrive to work Wednesday afternoon to see if it would be financially worthwhile to keep patio dining open. 

Corrigan expressed sympathy for the employees the venue employs.

"This is their livelihood and especially for servers and bartenders. They make the money off the tips. It’s just extremely hard," she said. 

Tina Brown, owner of Tina Marie's Cafe on Chester Avenue, said she's glad she got a permit from the city to extend seating into parking lots and sidewalks. Patio dining and takeout are allowed under the governor's order. 

"What a blessing in disguise," she said of her decision to get the permit for the eatery, which is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. 

However, the weather is yet another obstacle. Dining outdoors in other parts of the state may be no problem, but in Bakersfield it could be a deterrent.

Brown said she sent her husband out Wednesday afternoon to find some coolers to provide cool air flow through the impromptu dining area, which also features large umbrellas. She was optimistic, however, that she could get through the next few weeks with her makeshift setup and then will be allowed to reopen indoor dining.

When exactly reopening can happen is in question, though.

Kern County Department of Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine said the state had informed counties the closures are in place for at least three weeks but could be extended based on "epidemiological" conditions. Constantine said he believes that reopening may only happen within a county if that county meets state metrics for at least three days in a row. Kern has only met the metrics once in the several weeks since the state launched the monitoring program.

"It's confusing," Constantine said of the state monitoring program, adding that he sympathizes with businesses that are struggling financially and now have to shut down again.

Corina Topete, owner of Jerry's Pizza in downtown Bakersfield, said she expects to lay off half her staff Thursday morning after laying off her bartenders Wednesday morning. Topete said the restaurant had seen a surge in business since reopening, and employees who usually worked part-time were getting full-time hours. Now they will likely go back on unemployment, though some will stay on to help with takeout orders.

"They're all very disappointed and sad," she said. "I know we all have to do what we have to do ... but we feel like we've been taking all the precautionary measures. It's just tough on everyone."

Topete said she especially feels bad for bar owners, who have to shut down completely.

"They probably just restocked and it costs a lot to restock your bar," she said. 

As for movie theaters, many remained closed as of Wednesday but had plans to reopen in the next two weeks.

Maya Cinemas planned to reopen its theaters July 10 and Reading Cinemas Valley Plaza with IMAX, AMC Bakersfield 6 and Regal Bakersfield Stadium 14 to follow suit by mid-July.

Newsom said that despite the best intentions of wearing masks and social distancing, when people gather together there's a strong tendency to remove the mask after a while, opening the potential for virus spread. He said the closures specifically targeted locations and activities where people were in close contact and the virus was most likely to spread. He also suggested canceling any family gatherings that might be planned for the holiday weekend.

"If you've already made plans for the Fourth of July, perhaps you've already done that, I hope you'll reconsider those gatherings with people that aren't in your household," he said. 

Recommended for you

(30) comments

Masked 2020

Boris,,,,,,, may I ask a question?.....are you working for Vlad?........just wear a mask folks.......Posted: Jul 2, 2020 / 10:10 AM PDT / Updated: Jul 2, 2020 / 11:37 AM PDT

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Public Health Services Department reported 171 new COVID-19 cases and one death this morning.

These bring the county’s total to 4,949 cases and 77 deaths. There are 2,873 cases among those 18 to 49 years old. People between 50 and 64 represent 1,011 cases while there are 516 cases among those 65 and older, according to the department. There are 539 children who have tested positive for the virus. The department is reporting that 3,493 people have recovered from the virus, 1,269 are isolated at home and 102 are isolated at a hospital. KCPH said 61,496 tests have come back negative and 701 are pending.

Boris25

Let's put this "new surge" of COVID 19 into perspective. Yes, the number of new cases have risen, but the death rate has stayed fairly constant and flat at .015%. So, even though the identified number of cases increases that death rate doesn't. It makes no sense to "shut down " the economy because the number of identified cases have increased. Look at the data from Texas and Florida, the death rates are flat. The number of hospitalizations have increased but not because of COVID 19, it is because patients who were afraid of coming out because of the virus are now seeking treatment.

Masked 2020

may I ask a question? why is everyone in the RabbitHole quick to hate on me but always give the LongRanger AKA Naked Don a pass....Did he not allow Putin to put a bullseye on the troops in Afghanistan? “Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops”…I’ve been busy enjoying the pandemic and must of missed my issue of Army Times…. all the while having tea with Vlad at the number something Nato type meeting…. Maddow's hair was on fire tonight but Hannity on Anti-media is giving the LoneRanger a pass saying it was all just a big misunderstanding created by his deep state and the corrupt mainstream media……seems odd that there is just the sound of crickets from all the flag waving patriots who served and their families… I mean if Obama was having crumpets with Vlad…….the earth beneath our feet would open up… we are all going to die....no wonder I confused about masks......what a bumble*uck ….. “Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, OK? I thought it was OK,” Trump told Fox Business. “It was a dark, black mask, and I thought it looked OK. Looked like the Lone Ranger. But, no, I have no problem with that. I think — and if people feel good about it, they should do it.” That raised the hackles of many, many people online, who pointed out that a face mask worn to prevent the spread of the coronavirus covers one’s mouth and nose, while the Lone Ranger’s mask covered his upper face....I think he's mixed up a Covid Mask with a venetian carnival mask……..and he can vary his look The mask is popular in superhero comics, where it is often worn by costumed heroes and villains,[5] or by earlier hero tropes such as Zorro, The Lone Ranger, Robin the Boy Wonder and the Green Hornet.

Veritas

I find it interesting that 14 out of the 19 counties that Newsom said must stop indoor dining at restaurants, and completely shut down bars, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums for at least the next three weeks are Democratic majority counties. I guess those democrats don’t follow science or daddy’s orders...

Moardeeb

California is blue. Where have you been?

Veritas

‘deeb, you missed the point as usual. Let me spell it out for you even though you still won’t get it. There are 58 counties in the state of California. 34 have more registered Democrats than Republicans. So by simple math that even you can understand that means there are 24 that have more registered Republicans. 14 out of the 34 democratic majority counties have failed to follow Newsom’s directives, which comes out to a little over 41%. 5 out of the 24 Republican majority counties failed, which comes out to a little less than 21%. Therefore it is obvious that a larger percentage of all democrats do not follow science or your daddy’s orders in comparison to the percentage of all Republicans or those of NPP.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

@Veritas: As Lamonster eloquently told me the other day, you are arguing with a bumper sticker (when talking to Dweeb) & you'd be better off trying to get a turnip to sing. I thought that about summed up it up pretty well... :)

Veritas

GPC, I was thinking of another inanimate object but my comment would have been deleted by one of the TBC Gestapo. I like the bumper sticker metaphor better.

Veritas

I find it interesting that 14 out of the 19 counties that Newsom said must stop indoor dining at restaurants, and completely shut down bars, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums for at least the next three weeks are Democratic majority counties. I guess those democrats don’t follow science or daddy’s orders...

PhatShady

When does it go into effect?

Masked 2020

my I ask a question.........were have all the anti-maskers gone?

Independent Voter

I'm right here, Masked. And I still refuse to wear one. What are you going to do about it? Send a strike team after me? Good luck with that. Look at Public Health's dashboard. This is a load of BS. Sorry, still not buying it. This will all go away, however, in early November.

Moardeeb

Dream on.

Lamonster

Are you thinking maybe Nov. 4th?

Vico17

Moardeeb hates America.

Ask yourselves why.

My thoughts

So the people that just got back to work are now unemployed and need to file for unemployment again? I feel bad for the business owners that are trying to make a living but I understand the spread is real. If people wore a mask and practiced social distancing we may not be in this situation. People are dying and our youth isn't able to get a good education. If the price to fix this is stay home and wear a mask at the store I AM ALL IN!

Independent Voter

Perhaps you and others wore masks dining in. Wasn't good enough.

LoveOurFlag

Has anyone really grasped that we are no longer welcome in Europe ? Thanks trumpy. Thanks a lot. I have a home in Italy and because too many of you can't be bothered with even the slightest degree of inconvenience, I can't go there. Put on your masks you selfish morons.

Bodysnatcher

When your are able to return to Italy, please stay there scat breath.

BanditIvy

Will your teams stop the people who are most responsible for spreading this disease, the Protesters? Of course not, they vote Democrat.

Moardeeb

Facts about protests came out last week. Protests HAVE NOT increased the spread. They looked at case information where the major protests occurred.

If you're gonna go there? Trump and his maskless no distancing rallies? 10 of his own staff infected! How about the protests by wing nuts to OPEN UP?

Statistics show a big majority of Democratds follow science and recommendation. Republicans, no.

Big Republican celebration coming up Friday in SD. No masks, no distancing.

You are on very thin ice.

Don't even try it.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Dweeb, that's ridiculous that protests haven't increased the spread.

You talk about Trump and his "maskless no distancing rallies", yet tens of thousands of people, shoulder-to-shoulder, don't cause any significant spikes? Hogwash- be real for once...

Also, what's your source for these garbage statistics you cite regarding what party does/doesn't follow science?

As far as SD goes- it's a very sparsely populated state, with a current mortality rate of .014 from COVID. Is that as good as your "Guv's" California???

Vico17

Dweeb's source is the CCP, Chinese Communist Party. He hates America and works for the pinkos.

Bodysnatcher

Poor dweeb. Doctors will find fecal mater filling your skull during your autopsy. You wouldn't know real science if it slapped you in the face. Not that it would matter since you wouldn't notice anyway. Bless your heart.

Lamonster

Your statistics are skewed. You might try switching from China-grown tea leaves to something from India or Indonesia.

Django

This just in from the Mayor of Oklahoma City:

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Mayor David Holt released a new list of mandates for restaurants, bars and other venues in an attempt to limit people’s exposure to COVID-19.

Holt said starting Friday, all employees of restaurants and bars must wear masks and bar capacity will be lowered to 50%. He also said all venues with theater-style seating – such as weddings, funerals and churches – will be staggered.

Advertisement

The new restrictions will be in place for two weeks.

Although Holt has not issued a mask mandate for Oklahoma City, he did encourage people to wear them. He said he hasn't issued a mask mandate because it would be impossible to enforce.

Holt added that private businesses have the right to require customers and patrons to wear masks, just as they require shirts and shoes. Private businesses’ rights will be protected if they decide to mandate mask wearing.

The latest restrictions come after the mayor said the Oklahoma City metro area’s coronavirus numbers remain at an elevated level. He said that elevated level is manageable but is on the edge of an unmanageable level, especially with the Fourth of July weekend approaching.

Last week, Holt and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department listed seven “super spreader” locations where people are more often exposed to the virus. Those locations include weddings, faith-based activities, bars, funerals, house gatherings, gyms and other small events.

During Wednesday’s news conference, Holt said two sources of exposure that stood out since last week’s update were among bar and restaurant employees and bar patrons.

In a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt said he encourages Oklahomans to wear a mask in public where social distancing is not possible, but he said he would not issue a statewide mandate.

Unionpacific

The spread of Covid is not as bad as the spread of anger, stress, depression which the Psychiatric Association has labeled the top leading illnesses of America and a major reason for murder and violent behavior

Moardeeb

Wow. Americans have really become soft! " if I can't go drink, go to a theater and I have to eat at home for 3 weeks I'll go insane!" Let's see, Italy and Spain did it and so now they are free! Americans are inferior psychologically to the rest of the world who have flattened the curve?

What a sad state America is in! Buck up people. Stay home, wear a mask when you can't! Show some backbone!!

PopTart

Kiss my doorknob....

Independent Voter

Indeed, Dweeb. I point to snowflakes who can't stand opposing viewpoints. No backbone. Let's protest.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.