San Luis Obispo closes bars for July 4 weekend

The city of San Luis Obispo issued an emergency order closing bars and other alcohol-serving establishments for the July 4 weekend in attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In response to a recent sharp increase in coronavirus cases, SLO City Manager Derek Johnson issued an emergency proclamation on Wednesday that forces bars to close, effective 10 p.m. Thursday. Bars can reopen on Monday, but they must then operate at 25 percent occupancy or less.

Johnson’s order applies to bars, pubs, breweries, wine tasting venues and other establishments that sell alcohol. Restaurants are exempt from the mandated July 4 weekend closure.

A city news release states concerns are heightened because the July 4 holiday typically draws large crowds to the area.

“The health and safety of the community is our number one priority,” Johnson said in a statement. “The city has been advised by the county that bars are an area of concern for transmission of COVID-19, especially within the city jurisdiction, where bar concentrations are high and visitors from out of the area are drawn during holiday weekends. Taking action to slow the spread of the disease is vital to public health and our economic recovery.”

Over the past 24 hours, health officials have reported 31 newly confirmed coronavirus cases in San Luis Obispo County. The city of SLO is leading with seven new cases, followed by Paso Robles with six and Nipomo with four.

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