Thousands of Californians Flock to Open Beaches Despite Stay-at-Home Order

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - APRIL 22: Surfers ride waves in front of the Huntington Beach pier
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Thousands of Californians flocked to open beaches in Southern California due to a heat wave despite Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order.

Surfers and crowds of people were spotted along the Huntington Beach coast and Newport Beach Friday as the region is experiencing high temperatures, which will last through the weekend.

Many of the beachgoers were seen to be less than six feet apart, and many were not wearing masks. Officials are also expecting more crowds over the weekend.

“We’re trying to ask people to maybe put themselves in our residents’ position and think about the fact that our residents also have limited parking,” Huntington Beach Officer Angela Bennett told KABC.

Newport Beach-area lifeguards estimate that up to 40,000 people were on the beach Friday — double the amount they saw the day before.

The Orange County board of supervisors voted to keep a few beaches and outdoor areas open, but keep parking areas closed.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles County, beaches remain closed and officials are asking residents not to travel to neighboring counties with less stringent measures, like Ventura County.

Newsom said he expected the state’s beaches to see “a significant increase in volume” due to the heat wave and pleaded for those beachgoers to practice proper social distancing.

California has a total of 41,438 active coronavirus cases, with 1,705 deaths as of Saturday.


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