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The cities of Huntington Beach and Dana Point have voted to take legal action against the state of California after Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) said he would close all beaches and state parks inside of their cities and the rest of Orange County.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Huntington Beach voted 5-2 in a last-minute meeting in favor of seeking an injunction against the governor, who announced in Thursday’s coronavirus press conference that the state would close all beaches in Orange County in response to “alarm bells,” including packed crowds and a lack of reportedly improper physical distancing.
“People that are congregating there, that weren’t practicing physical distancing, that may go back to their community outside of Orange County and may not even know that they contracted the disease and now they put other people at risk, put our hospital system at risk,” said Newsom.
The mayor of Huntington Beach said that the city will temporarily abide by the governor’s order, remarking that the city would be “very concerned” for marine safety officers if they were tasked with patrolling the only beaches open in the county, reports KTLA.
About 80,000 people flocked to all beaches across Orange County last weekend, although life guards in the area report that most people were observing proper social distancing guidelines, according to NBC New Los Angeles.
The Dana Point Times reports that the Dana Point city council also held an emergency meeting and voted 4-1 to seek a temporary restraining order against the governor. In an unclear twist, the lawmaker who proposed the measure was the only person to oppose it during the vote.
According to Patch, the city of Newport Beach will meet in an emergency session over the weekend to discuss legal actions they can take against the governor’s order.
After the governor’s beach closure order, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said that he would seek “voluntary compliance” from residents and did not want to take a heavy-handed approach, reports The Voice of OC.
“To date, we have not had to take any enforcement action on any components of the governor’s order,” said the sheriff, according to The Los Angeles Times.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Newsom’s staff informed the San Diego mayor’s office that he planned to close all beaches and state parks in an upcoming press conference.
The move was also anticipated by the Police Chiefs Association, which distributed a memo to leading law enforcement officials around the state that the governor would announce the closure of all state parks and beaches during his daily coronavirus press conference on Thursday, and that the move would take effect on Friday.
“We wanted to give all of our members a heads up about this in order to provide time for you to plan for any situations you might expect as a result, knowing each community has its own dynamics,” said the memo.
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