Two Southern California beach cities have voted to file an injunction against Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to close all beaches in Orange County. The order followed a weekend in which tens of thousands of people descended on Newport Beach in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, and beaches in Ventura County, north of LA. Newsom called this an example of “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress fighting the coronavirus.
“Specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells. 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.”
– Governor Gavin Newsom
City Councils in Huntington Beach and Dana Point both held emergency meetings yesterday after the governor ordered county beaches closed starting today, 1st May.
On issuing the order, Newsom called it a “temporary pause” saying beaches could reopen quickly “if we can get some framework and guidelines to get this right.” Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta called the governor’s mandate “jarring.”
“Given that Orange County has among the lowest per-capita COVID-19 death rates in California, the action by the State prioritizes politics over data, in direct contradiction of the Governor’s stated goal to allow science and facts to guide our response to this horrible global pandemic.”
– Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta
All beaches and state parks are now closed, to included bike paths, boat ramps, restrooms, parking lots, and associated recreational amenities. Sunbathing, walking, running, and watersports are also be prohibited.