As the U.S. continues the fight against COVID-19, many Californians have found a way to keep their sanity in a world full of chaos. This past weekend, the state saw an abundance of crowds soaking in the sun, fighting the current heatwave along the state’s coastline.
Unfortunately, the overcrowding caught the attention of California Governor Gavin Newsom.
According to CNN, who obtained a copy of a memo through a senior law enforcement official, Newsom is prepared to announce the closure of all state beaches and parks beginning Friday. The official announcement is expected to come Thursday.
“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,” the memo says.
Additionally, the large crowds looking to escape the confinements of their own homes and find refuge along the sunny California coast are attributed to Newsom’s decision.
Orange County’s Newport Beach saw around 90,000 visitors alone. On Tuesday, Newport Beach’s City Council voted to keep its beaches open, encouraging beachgoers to continue following social distancing guidelines.
Newsom’s decision to close does not come lightly and has been met with pushback. In a statement made Wednesday, Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner called the decision ‘not wise,’ stating the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases.
Although it was observed by authorities that beachgoers largely followed social distancing rules, defying stay-at-home orders could delay the reopening Newsom said.
“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. 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.”
The state plans to phase in reopening, although there is no rush to return back to normalcy.
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