After crowds of people packed beaches across Orange County during last weekend's heatwave, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, April 30 shutdown beaches across the Orange County coastline, prompting ire from local officials.
Newsweek reached out to Newsom's office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
"Local and national media carried photographs of people enjoying the sun in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and other locations". "I've been led by my health directors. that feel we need to address that a little more specifically in a targeted way - the volume of people in a concentrated space, particularly in. a few coastal cities, off and around the Orange County area".
The beaches are expansive, he argued. He said about 40,000 people from outside the area descended on the city without practicing social distancing such as wearing masks. It should be up to local leaders and not Newsom.
In Humboldt County, also near the OR border, Sheriff William Honsal indicated he wouldn't enforce Newsom's order to close beaches and state parks. "So I just hope people will consider that".
She said the county of about 9,000 people in the state's far northeast corner near OR had no COVID-19 cases.
A week after Californians tired of stay-at-home orders packed beaches, authorities pleaded for weekend visitors to follow social distancing rules: no bunching, keep walking or swimming, and leave the umbrellas at home. He says the continued stockpiling of medical equipment is "fundamental" to California's reopening.
Beyond the beaches, Newsom also announced that the California Department of Social Services has launched a website - mychildcare.ca.gov - created to connect essential workers with children to child care services.
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Last weekend, some 80,000 people flocked to Newport Beach, south of Los Angeles, with additional thousands gathering at open beaches northwest of Los Angeles.
Minutes before Newsom's order was issued, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and county supervisors announced a similar order for the closure of malls and all non-essential businesses.
Two beach cities in Southern California voted to file an injunction against the governor's order to temporarily close all beaches in Orange County.
"We're going to have a temporary pause on the beaches [in Orange County]", he said.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) had announced that it would be barring protests at the capitol because of a lack of social distancing by participants at a previous rally, but protesters gathered on the steps of the capitol regardless, chanting "Whose house?"
"We're not simply a component of the state", Gates said.
"This virus doesn't take the weekends off, this virus doesn't go home because it's a handsome sunny day around our coasts", he said Monday.
Rural California counties have also quietly reopened some churches and businesses, with more expected to follow in the coming days.
"The county hasn't seen the "surge" in its hospitals, and six weeks into this shelter-in-place order, the beach may be the best medicine".