Only Orange County Beaches Are to Close Friday, May 1

by on April 30, 2020 · 0 comments

in Health, Ocean Beach, San Diego

It was all clarified by Thursday afternoon. Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the the temporary close of only Orange County state and local beaches beginning Friday, May 1. He gave the order, after some confusion, after thousands of people treated this past weekend like it was a holiday at the beach, particularly in LA and Orange Counties.

Which means San Diego beaches are still open – but their strict restrictions still apply. Currently, beachgoers are allowed to surf and swim in the water, as well as jog or stroll on the beach. But they have to keep moving: Sitting down or sunbathing is not permitted.

Newsom said beachgoers who ignored the state’s restrictions were not practicing social-distancing and may prolong the epidemic.

“Specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells,” Newsom said. “People that are congregating there, that weren’t practicing physical distancing, that may go back to their community outside of Orange County and may not even know that they contracted the disease and now they put other people at risk, put our hospital system at risk.”

Orange County beaches will be reopened, the Governor said, if the situation improves.

The confusion appeared to have been created after California police chiefs said Wednesday night that they had received a memo from the Newsom administration that the governor would announce a closing all state and local beaches and parks. On Thursday, the LA Times reported that “Newsom said the memo to the police chiefs ‘never got to me,’ and he denied rescinding plans for an order to close beaches statewide.” Newsom also said he has been consistent and denied responsibility of what others had said.

Newsom did receive push-back on his plan, including Mayor Faucloner and several of the Board of Supervisors (we should note all Republicans). Mayors of other Southern California beach cities were not pleased either.

Whatever happened, Faulconer seem genuinely happy that the Governor’s order didn’t include San Diego. Afterall, he’s just a beach kid himself, having once represented OB and Point Loma when he sat in the District 2 chair on the City Council. Plus, don’t forget, he’d like to be sitting Newsom’s chair someday.

The LA Times reported:

A top Newsom administration official involved in talks with local leaders about the status of California beaches said that some of the governor’s top advisors were recommending a statewide closure. But after hearing the concerns raised by city and county leaders, Newsom decided instead to focus solely on the Orange County beaches that had attracted such large crowds this past weekend.

“Our public health officials were really waving the red flag,” said the administration official, who agreed to talk with The Times on the condition of anonymity.

The County Sheriff of Orange will have his deputies seek voluntary compliance from residents. Sheriff Don Barnes has jurisdiction over county beaches and some contracted citites.

Despite all those photos of crowds of people at her beach, Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta essentially denied the worst of what the photos showed, and told the LA Times, “…most people are being responsible and complying with social distancing.” She implied Newsom was playing politics.

Health officials in Los Angeles County, which has been the hotbed of the pandemic in California, say staying at home now is essential to slowing the spread of the illness.  Los Angeles has recorded more than 1,000 deaths and an outsize share of cases and hospitalizations.



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