Governor Gavin Newsom Closes Orange County Beaches, Even As Many States Begin To Open Up

Citing images of beachgoers crowding the sand at Newport Beach last weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced he would close the beaches in Orange County.

“We’re guided by health,” the governor said while calling for a “temporary pause,” citing the need to “meet the conditions as they change.”

On Monday, Newsom signaled concern about Newport Beach and some beaches in Ventura County.

“We can’t see images like we saw, particularly on Saturday, in Newport Beach and elsewhere,” said Newsom on Monday. “This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts,” he said.

On Tuesday, despite Newsom’s admonition, Newport’s City Council voted to keep its beaches open, with additional enforcement of physical distancing.

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Later, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors called news of Newsom’s expected Friday announcement an “overreaction.”

This as, according to CNN, at least 31 states have plans to begin loosening restrictions in the next few days. Ironically, despite the beach order, California is among them.

On Tuesday Newsom revealed a “California Resilience Roadmap,” which plots out a four-stage reopening. According to the Roadmap, the state is currently at stage one.

The next stage will be “gradually reopening low-risk workplaces,” such as retail, manufacturing, offices and more public spaces. These first reopenings could happen within weeks. Movie theaters and sporting events (without crowds) would open in stage 3.

Newsom announced that officials are contemplating a July or August start for the fall school term. “We have made no decisions,” the governor said at his daily briefing, but noted officials “recognize there’s been a learning loss.”

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