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Yolo County to close some indoor businesses as coronavirus cases spike

Ahead of the 4th of July weekend, Yolo County is closing some in-door activities like restaurants, bars, wineries and more.

YOLO COUNTY, Calif. — Yolo County has yet to fall under California public health official's coronavirus watch list, a growing index of counties that have rapid increases in COVID-19 cases since reopening.

So far, 19 counties have made the list, including Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, effectively closing again indoor operations for some of the highest-risk activities in the areas.

Ahead of the Independence Day weekend, Yolo County spokesperson Jenny Tan confirmed that health officials are preparing to take steps to follow suit, putting restrictions on restaurants, bars, wineries, theaters, and more.

"Yolo County is likely to exceed the elevated disease transmission criteria on the State of California’s County Data Monitoring," Tan said in a press release. "To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and align with surrounding counties, Yolo County will pre-emptively close [businesses]... effective July 3, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. for a minimum of three weeks."

As of Wednesday evening, Yolo County has reported 555 coronavirus cases and 24 deaths related to the virus. The biggest worry isn't the total number of cases, however, but the recent spike since relaxing guidelines.

In the past week, the county has reported more than 175 new cases of the virus, more than 30% of the total number of cases.

Although the county hasn't landed on the watch list, officials said the recent spike would land them on the list. 

In order for counties to be flagged by the state, they would either have to have a case rate of 100+ cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period or 25 cases per 100,000 people plus a testing positivity rate of at least 8% over a 7-day period.

In Yolo County, the case rate is currently 87 cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period and a test positivity rate of 7.1%, according to Tan.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the 19 counties, which make up a total of about 70% of the state's population, would have to have indoor operations for various businesses closed for at least three weeks.

In his announcement, Newsom said the forced closures mean "that we’re trying to take activities as many activities as we can. These mixed activities, these concentrated activities and move them outdoors, which is a way of mitigating the spread of this virus."

Meanwhile, nearby Placer County has reported 97 new cases of COVID-19 since Monday. Still, county public health officer Dr.Aimee Sisson said the county will not preemptively close any businesses that have recently reopened.

Sisson said the county's 14-day case rate of 73.3, still falls below the 100 cases per 100,000 people threshold, but they are "keeping a close eye" on the numbers.

"Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, with cases on the rise locally and with other counties in California starting to take steps backward in reopening, we need everyone in Placer County to take COVID-19 seriously and take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones," Sisson said in a statement.



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WATCH MORE: Sacramento, Stanislaus, San Joaquin counties among 19 to close indoor operations