Coronavirus: California governor admonishes weekend crowds who flocked to beaches

Coronavirus: California governor admonishes weekend crowds who flocked to beaches

After crowds flocked to the shoreline over the weekend, Newport Beach is expected to hold a city council meeting Tuesday afternoon to decide whether its beaches should once again be shut down for the next three weekends to limit the impact of the coronavirus.

Newsom said that while the most populous state in the country is weeks away from starting to gradually lift stay-at-home orders, the beach scenes from the weekend could push back that goal.

Newsom, a Democrat, called out Newport Beach during his daily COVID-19 briefing Monday, condemning beachgoers for crowding together, failing to space apart on their beach towels, and not wearing masks while sunbathing.

Newsom hinted that the state is weeks away from beginning to slowly modify the stay-at-home order. "However, that's driven by data".

"Those images are an example of what not to see, what not to do if we're going to make the meaningful progress we've made the past couple of weeks", the governor said, according to ABC7News. He took aim at those who congregated at Southern California beaches over the weekend.

Surfers leave a beach after officials opened it during the outbreak of the CCP virus (COVID-19) in Encinitas, Calif., on April 27, 2020. "This virus doesn't go home because it's a lovely sunny day around our coasts".

Photos taken this past weekend showed some open beaches in Southern California full of people amid a heat wave - and during the statewide stay-at-home order directing residents to stay inside to contain the coronavirus.

But Orange County Executive Officer Frank Kim defended the beachgoers, who, he said, followed social distancing guidelines.

As Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower reports, some of the state's beaches are closed during the order, such as those in Los Angeles County. Parks and playgrounds there have also remained closed.

"It's hot out, and we're seeing the crowds increase, doubling every day", said Newport Beach Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brian O'Rourke.

Neighboring Huntington Beach also saw big gatherings, despite the closure of parking lots and metered parking restricted along Pacific Coast Highway.

As of Monday, 43,600 Californians have been sickened with coronavirus and over 1,700 have died.

Related Articles