Beware, protestors fighting for the right to lounge on California’s sandy shores—or as they’re otherwise described, people who have too much time on their hands. Beaches are expected to close throughout California as early as Friday in light of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo CNN obtained from a senior law enforcement official. "We wanted to give all of our members a heads up about this in order to provide time for you to plan for any situations you might expect as a result, knowing each community has its own dynamics," an official reportedly stated in the memo.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom intends to announce the closure Thursday, and the Orange County Board of Supervisors has already released its statement in opposition to the move, CNN reported. Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said in the statement that fresh air and sunlight could help fight the virus. "Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases, including mental health benefits," Wagner wrote.
Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 · 8:00:41 PM +00:00 · Lauren Floyd
California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all state and local beaches in Orange County to close Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. It’s a move that falls short of a statewide beach closure an earlier memo spelled out for police chiefs.
“My job as governor is to keep you safe,” he said during his daily coronavirus briefing. “We don’t want to have beaches with tens of thousands of people mixing.”
“We’re going to have a temporary pause on beaches down there,” he added. “I hope it’s a very short-term adjustment.”
"Moreover, Orange County citizens have been cooperative with California state and county restrictions thus far,” he added. “I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information."
Some overreaction. Despite well-known recommendations from experts to practice social distancing, thousands of people flooded beaches in southern California over the weekend, when temperatures hit the 80s and 90s. Brian O'Rourke, a lifeguard battalion chief, told the San Francisco Chronicle about 40,000 people were reported Friday at Newport Beach, which is about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles. San Diego County police officers had to arrest three people Saturday at a protest intended to push officials to reopen closed beaches.
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California has seen 46,500 coronavirus cases and 1,887 resulting deaths, and that only covers the 603,139 residents tested in the state of more than 39 million people, according to state data. "This virus doesn't take the weekends off,” Newsom said Monday. “This virus doesn't go home. We have to manage and augment our behavior. The only thing that will set us back is people stopping practicing physical distancing."