By Ryan Hill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Bars are being ordered to close again ahead of the Fourth of July weekend in Sacramento County as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The Sacramento County Department of Public Health amended their order on Monday and took bars off the list of allowable activities. Seven counties were ordered to roll back their reopening plans and close bars, while eight other counties – including Sacramento – were recommended to do the same.

“Our contract tracers have come up with two vectors; two major ways people are spreading the disease. Number one is through bars. Particularly, as people congregate, don’t use social distancing and don’t use masks,” Director of Health Services Dr. Peter Beilenson said.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom reminded people that reopening was more like a “dimmer switch” where some counties will have to start toggling back.

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Public health officials noted that many coronavirus cases are also being connected to family gatherings.

“Through our rigorous contact tracing investigations, we know that many people are transmitting the virus through private, in-home gatherings with family and friends,” said Dr. Beilenson in a statement.

The order to close bars goes into effect on Monday at 6 p.m. It’s unclear if and when bars will be allowed to reopen.

Some bars feel it’s a heavy blow just as they welcoming people back for a cocktail.

“It’s going to be tough. We think about the business every day,” Jack Nolan, Co-Owner of Hilltop Tavern, said.

“As much as we want to be open, it’s also important to try to keep the community and our employees safe. If we have to close, we will close,” Huey Tidwell, Manager of Club 2 Me, said.

As part of the amended order, Sacramento County public health officials also announced that they would be lifting the temporary ban on reusable personal bags at stores.

Bielenson said he didn’t believe that this would be the start of restricting other reopening from happening.

“We’re at a tipping point over within the next two to three weeks how people behave and how things move along,” Bielenson said. “If we continue to get an increase number of cases, then we may have to restrict certain things. If our cases start heading back down again then we won’t.”

It’s déjà vu for these businesses, having to close their doors and left wondering once again what will happen in the future.

“We’re not planning on going out of business. We’re hoping to weather this and anything that comes along,” Nolan said.

“If it only goes for a couple of weeks, we can survive it. If it goes for a couple of months, it might be the straw,” Tidwell said.


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