Merced Co. joins state’s coronavirus watch list

The designation means the county will receive extra targeted engagement from the state to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Merced County has joined several other Central Valley counties on California’s coronavirus watch list, meaning the county will receive extra targeted engagement from the state to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

In addition to Merced County, the state also added Solano, Glenn and Orange counties to the list. San Joaquin Valley counties that have already been on the list are Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Kings and San Joaquin Counties. 


California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the 19 counties on the targeted engagement list make up about 72 percent of the state’s population. 

On Sunday, Newsom announced that California has ordered bars to close Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Tulare Counties. 

“Seven of those counties, we are now adopting this dimmer in terms of their reopening,” Newsom said.

These seven counties have been on the targeted engagement list for two weeks, Newsom said, which triggered the decision to shut down bars. 

“What we did is we reached out to state health officials all up and down the state,” Newsom said. “They made a number of comments about what they’re seeing in their communities as it relates to spread, and we talked about community spread in some areas.”

The state has also recommended that eight counties close bars, but has not ordered them to do so: Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura Counties. Those eight counties have been on the watch list for at least three days. 

Newsom said the state reached out to the various health officials in the counties throughout the state and received feedback about community spread of coronavirus. 

“Each county is seeing something different, but in the aggregate based upon that feedback, based upon evidence of spread, based upon the concerns, we went forward with these 15 counties where we’ve mandated and/or advised the closure of these bars,” Newsom said. 

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