All bars, wineries and breweries in San Diego County are ordered to temporarily close beginning July 1, county health officials announced Monday.
This comes as several California counties are dialing back plans to reopen some businesses after observing a decrease in compliance with social distancing guidelines and an increase in hospitalizations.
"We will take action to close bars wineries and breweries that do not serve food beginning midnight Wednesday morning," Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said Monday. "Now more than ever, it is vital that we all take precaution to guide our personal, as well as our collective health."
Bars represent 27% of all of San Diego County's active community setting outbreaks, Wooten added. San Diego currently has 65 active outbreaks, the county's data shows.
"Bars are purely social settings where different people and groups often mix," San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "The reality is, alcohol consumption impairs judgment which may lead to less compliance with physical distancing guidelines. Loud settings require loud conversations, which spreads droplets more efficiently and effectively and then people who do not know each other often congregate in bars, making it difficult to engage in thorough contact tracing about who may have been exposed."
Over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in seven of the state's counties but San Diego was not on that list.
"San Diego County was not included in the action taken by the state but we believe it is appropriate," Fletcher said. "We believe it is wise for us to take this action now given the increases we've seen in cases and percentage of positive cases and outbreaks."