These Are the 6 States That Have Shut Down Bars Amid COVID-19
As coronavirus cases continue to rise nationally, the reopening phases in states begin to reverse in an attempt to flatten the curve, once again. This means that two types of businesses in particular, which are considered hotbeds for the virus, are closing: bars and restaurants.
As of last week, the New York Times reported (thanks to their interactive map) that more than 4.3 million people in the U.S. have now tested positive for coronavirus since March, with most recent seven-day rolling averages being more than double the size they were in mid-April. For perspective, on July 24 there were 73,525 new cases that day alone.
Here are the six states that have recently ordered all bars to close in response to the rapid increase in infection rates.
Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky just announced on Monday, July 27 that bars will be close down statewide for two weeks. The decision comes directly after White House adviser Dr. Deborah Brix recommended the state take action to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
"I've got every public health expert from the White House down to the state saying we absolutely have to do this," Beshear said to Newsweek. "Otherwise, we'd have to have more widespread closures."
Still, bars that also serve food are allowed to stay open as long as they're following CDC guidelines.
On July 13, California governor Gavin Newsom banned indoor dining and closed all bars and wineries after the state surpassed 325,000 positive coronavirus cases. Even, with establishments closed, that number has now increased to more than 463,000 registered cases.
As of Sunday, Louisiana now has the second-highest infection rate in the country, with a seven-day rolling average of 48.8 new coronavirus cases per every 100,000 people, according to data from The Harvard Global Health Institute. Similar to California, Louisiana also closed down bars on July 13 and while they were set to reopen on July 24, Governor John Bel Edwards extended the shut down until at least August 7.
Texas governor Greg Abbott closed bars in the state in late June and has yet to reopen them. Dine-in service had also been reduced from 75% capacity to 50%. In addition, it's now mandatory for any Texan over the age of 10 to wear a mask while in an indoor space.
Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, recently extended the order that paused the reopening of bars from by two weeks, which is set to expire on August 10. As of this week, Arizona has the fourth-highest cases per capita. The Hill has quoted Ducey saying, "Now is not the time to get complacent. We must press on and keep doing the things that are working: wearing a mask, staying physically distant, avoiding congregating and activities that lead to congregating, and staying home as much as possible." (Related: 5 States on The Brink of Losing Dining Out Privileges)
As of now, Florida has the highest infection rate of any state in the country, with nearly 50 new cases per 100,000 people each day. On June 26, Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced that it would shutter bars and they have remained closed since.