California beaches packed despite coronavirus concerns

California beaches packed despite coronavirus concerns
The summer-like weather was a big draw for many who flocked to the beach. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Thousands of people crowded beaches in Southern California for seeking relief from a heatwave this weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic. The beaches are crowded with people despite a statewide stay-at-home order implemented by the governor last month.

While beaches in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties remained closed, they were open in Orange and Ventura Counties.

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Frank Feerini, who was at Huntington Beach in Orange County, added, “How can you keep anybody in?”

The summer-like weather was a big draw for many who flocked to the beach.

More than 18 million people under heat advisories issued on Friday while on Saturday, temperatures reached 93 degrees in Los Angeles.

Feerini said: “I think that people want to get out. I think they’ve been cooped up, I think they’re going stir crazy.”

Authorities in both Orange and Ventura Counties reported excellent behavior by the people who gathered to enjoy the beach. Authorities said beachgoers were observing social distancing rules after weeks being hunkered down to slow the spread of the virus.

Brian O’Rourke, the lifeguard battalion chief for Newport Beach, said: “People are being very cooperative and observing the social distancing rules.”

Temperatures had cooled down a bit in the region by Sunday, but that didn’t deter people from trekking to the beach to soak in the sun.

At Deer Creek Beach, people played fetch with their dogs, threw frisbees, waded into the cool water and went surfing. The beach is just north of the Ventura County line and about 13 miles west of Malibu.

Many people appeared to follow social distancing guidelines while engaging in outdoor activities.

A Malibu resident named Nick Rosenfeld said: “I just saw some friends who I had not seen in six weeks and we greeted each other but maintained social distancing.”

People are seen gathering on the Corona del Mar State Beach on April 25, 2020 in Newport Beach, California.

“But it’s tough. We’ve got to get back to work. I’m an unemployed personal trainer, and this is the first time I’ve been out of the house in a long time,” he added.

The scenes at Orange Ventura County beaches were a stark contrast to the empty neighboring Southern California beaches.

Beaches in Los Angeles County, just miles away, looked more like ghost towns.

Under the county’s stay-home order, beaches — as well as beach showers, restrooms accessways, and parking lots — will remain closed through May 15.

Signs in Santa Monica, California, that block the path read “temporary closure” and “public health order.

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