California Governor Shuts Down Bowling Centers in 19 Counties

by Bob Johnson 0

Just weeks, and in some cases days, after reopening their doors following a prolonged closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of California’s bowling centers on Wednesday were ordered to shut down again by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The order was the result of what some have called “knucklehead behavior” by certain people who refused to wear masks in public or adhere to social distancing guidelines. It applies to 19 counties that account for nearly 75% of the state’s population, and also targets movie theaters, bars and indoor restaurant dining.

The full list of 19 counties affected by the order is: Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Ventura.

Bowling centers up and down the state took to Facebook to inform customers of the development. A few of the (unedited) posts:

* La Habra “300” Bowl in La Habra — “Attention All Bowlers: We are sad to report that the Governor has closed all bowling alleys as of July 2, 2020 at 12:01am for 3 weeks. La Habra 300 Bowl will be closing today at 4:30pm. We hope you all will stay safe during this uncertain time and we hope to see you all as soon as we are allowed to reopen again.”

* Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley — “Effective 10pm tonight, we will be closed for a minimum of three weeks by order of Governor Newsom. We will keep you posted of changes.”

* Bowlero in Clovis — “Due to orders of the state of California, we’ll be temporarily closed, effective today. We will let you know when we’re able to re-open. Thank you for your understanding.”

In Contra Costa County, Clayton Valley Bowl in Concord had posted this on June 29: “Due to recent changes to Contra Costa County health services, the July 1st reopening has been canceled. Clayton Valley Bowl will not be opening on July 1st and we have no date or time frame as to when we will be able to open. For those of you that were excited to get back to bowling as much as we were we are sorry! Take care of yourselves and stay healthy and safe! We will try to keep updating as much as possible!”

In California, as in most other states, the reopening process has been far from fluid.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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