SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Orange County on Wednesday ordered all bars that don't offer dine-in services to shut down again as the region sees a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Effective at midnight, all bars, pubs, breweries that do not offer dine-in service will still be allowed to offer curbside sales only until further notice, according to the amended health officer order from the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Establishments that offer sit-down meals can continue to sell alcohol only if its paired with a meal.
The closure order was almost inevitable ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, given similar action already taken in surrounding counties of Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside. Orange County officials expressed concern that if they did not act, the county would become a magnet for holiday revelers from across Southern California.
"While we would prefer not to close bars at this time, many of our neighboring counties have closed their bars, and it's important to take precautions to ensure the safety of the general public,'' county Supervisor
Michelle Steel said in a statement.
The decision comes a day after the county announced a record single-day increase in the number of coronavirus infections -- 779 -- although nearly half of those cases were the result of a backlog of earlier test results. The county also announced 10 additional deaths on Tuesday, raising the overall death toll to 340. The county's total number of COVID-19 cases is 13,843.
The move comes as Laguna Beach and Newport Beach decided to close its beaches for the July 4th weekend as California sees a new surge in coronavirus cases.
City News Service contributed to this report.