SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County’s beaches will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, officials announced Wednesday.
County CEO Frank Kim and Supervisor Lisa Bartlett confirmed that beaches will be closed Saturday and Sunday. The closure includes:
- Aliso Beach
- Capistrano Beach
- Salt Creek Beach
- Baby Beach
- Bayside Beach
- Camel Point Beach
- Poche Beach
- Table Rock Beach
- Thousand Steps Beach
- Treasure Island Beach
- West Street Beach
The cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach had already announced plans to close their beaches due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. Orange County joins Los Angeles and Ventura counties in shutting down its beaches for the holiday weekend.
“I have conflicting feelings, because I feel like, being outside, we are distanced enough from each other,” said beachgoer Chista Woo. “We’re safe, but I can understand what they’re trying to do.”
The only beach that will stay open, along with its parking, is San Clemente. Some locals are worried about the crowds that may descend on their usually quiet beach town.
“I just do think it’s fair,” said Wendy Cross, a San Clemente resident. “It’s gonna make our beaches a lot more crowded.”
Corbin Smith, another resident, says the closures don’t make sense.
“I don’t really like it, because a lot of people like going to the beach [and] having fun,” he said. “So if one beach can be open, why not all?”
Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said closure enforcement will likely look the same as it always has.
“I’ve not heard that the sheriff is going to do anything different this weekend than he’s been doing in the past,” he said. “Making sure people are aware of the restrictions and exercising a light hand to get compliance.”
In a departure from the previously defiant tone he took with Orange County supervisors in May, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes issued a statement Thursday that said it was important to wear face coverings to mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19, even if “it is not a practical application of criminal law violation.”
“I expect that Orange County residents will continue to use common sense and responsibly wear a face covering, in addition to other recommended best practices such as frequent hand washing and maintaining physical distance, for the benefit of their own health as well as the collective health of the community. We must do what is necessary to stop the transmission of COVID-19,” he said in the statement.
On Thursday, county health officials announced 652 more coronavirus cases and nine more deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 15,065 cases and 354 fatalities. On Tuesday, the county reported a one-day record 779 newly confirmed cases.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his briefing Thursday, said that the order to again close indoor operations of restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses, was an effort to push people outside, where transmission of the virus is less likely.
“This Fourth of July weekend is one of the most social weekends in our lives,” he said. “We want to remind you that we don’t want to see you, a bunch of strangers, without being physically distanced, without wearing face coverings over the weekend to the extent you can. Avoid crowds, and avoid going to large parades outside of your household.”