GR US

California Governor: Wear Masks, Avoid July 4th Gatherings

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this June 9, 2020, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom wears a protective mask on his face while speaking to reporters at Miss Ollie s restaurant during the coronavirus outbreak in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom urged Californians to turn to their “better angels” and use common sense by wearing masks and skipping traditional gatherings with family and friends during the holiday weekend.

California had been on a good trajectory with its virus efforts until mid-June, but infections and hospitalizations are now rising rapidly in many parts of the state.

Los Angeles and 18 other counties with the most troubling virus increases have been forced to shutter bars, forbid inside restaurant dining and close movie theaters.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s top health official, called the Fourth of July holiday weekend a “big deal” for efforts to contain the virus. He urged people to behave differently than they did on Memorial Day weekend, when many gathered socially. Authorities say that behavior helped spur the latest surge of cases.

“This is another time for Californians to pay attention to what happened over the last month and make a different set of decisions now,” he said.