LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Amid temperatures that soared into the 90s, the large number of people who descended on beaches in Orange and Ventura counties over the weekend did not escape the attention of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The governor Monday opened his daily coronavirus briefing by expressing his discouragement at the large crowds at beaches in Orange and Ventura counties.
“The images down in Orange County and Ventura County, on our beaches, those images are an example of what not to see,” Newsom said.
“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off,” he added. “This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful, sunny day.”
While beaches in L.A. County – from Malibu to the South Bay – were closed and empty, the coastline of the cities of Port Hueneme, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach were quite the opposite, drawing thousands of visitors.
“We can’t see the images like we saw, particularly on Saturday, in Newport Beach and elsewhere in the state of California,” Newsom said.
Huntington Beach police Sunday tweeted that “the majority of our beach goers are complying to social distancing.”
Masks are currently recommended but not required in Orange County. Newport Beach city leaders will hold a special meeting Tuesday to consider shutting down their beaches for the next three weekends.
“The only thing that will set us back is our behavior…that’s the only thing that’s gonna slow down our ability to reopen the economy,” Newsom said.
As of Monday, California has 43,464 coronavirus cases. There were 1,300 new cases and 45 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,755.
More than 553,000 people have been tested.
Meanwhile, with the curve beginning to flatten, Newsom hinted at the possibility of beginning to lift the stay-at-home orders within a matter of weeks.
“The hope and expectation is that we’ll be in a position in a number of weeks to make meaningful modifications,” the governor said.