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As Newsom asks for bars to close, local casinos shutter operations over coronavirus

In a Sunday afternoon press conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom called for the immediate closure of bars, nightclubs, and pubs while pushing seniors and those with health issues to enter home isolation to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

He did not, however, issue a statewide order to force the closure of those establishments.

Newsom’s push included an ask of Golden State restaurants to cut their capacity by 50 percent in order to provide customers with “deep social distancing.”

The restaurant plea comes amid a social media roiling over comments made by Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare).

Discussing social distancing with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Nunes said that healthy people shouldn’t shy away from dining establishments and should support local restaurants likely to be hit hard by the pandemic panic.

Local health officials concurred with Nunes’ assessment that otherwise healthy consumers can still go out to eat at this time.

During the press conference, Newsom hinted at potential action as soon as Monday to suspend evictions in California while families are being requested to self-quarantine.

In a sign of growing concern, the Centers for Disease Control released a new advisory calling on organizations to cancel events with more than 50 attendees. The advisory covers the next two months.

That advisory, coupled with a push from California’s Department of Public Health, led to Table Mountain Rancheria Tribe announcing Sunday it would close its casino in Friant on Monday evening for the remainder of the month of March

“Our tribe will honor all employees’ base pay rates and their benefits during this temporary closure,” the tribe said in a statement on Sunday.

The casino reiterated that it has not had exposure to confirmed coronavirus cases.

Chukchansi Gold Casino in Oakhurst has not announced plans to close, but released a letter to gamblers laying out its work to maintain sanitation in its facilities.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.