After suggesting he would close beaches across California in order to prevent people from setting back “progress” in the fight against the pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will reportedly now make good on the threat.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The California Police Chiefs Association sent out a bulletin to every police chief in the state informing them that the governor plans to announce widespread beach and state park closures effective Friday.
“After the well-publicized media coverage of overcrowded beaches this past weekend, in violation of Governor Newsom’s Shelter In Place Order, the Governor will be announcing tomorrow that all beaches and all state parks in California will be closed,” reads the bulletin, which was distributed on Wednesday evening.
“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,” the bulletin states.
A copy of the bulletin was posted on Twitter by Fox News Los Angeles reporter Bill Melugin:
BREAKING: A source has provided me with this bulletin that will be sent out to all California police chiefs notifying them that tomorrow, Governor Newsom will announce the closure of ALL beaches and state parks effective May 1st in response to recent beach crowds in OC . @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/RG53HhmySf
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 30, 2020
After the bulletin announcing the governor’s move was distributed, Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner suggested that closing beaches would undermine the governor’s pandemic response and harm the mental wellness of Californians, reports Fox News L.A..
“I believe Governor Newsom has the power to close Orange County beaches. However, it is not wise to do so,” said Wagner. “Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases, including mental health benefits.”
“Moreover, Orange County citizens have been cooperative with California state and county restrictions thus far,” he added. “I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information.”
The governor’s sweeping move, which will affect nearly 40 million Californians, comes after he used beach-goers as an example of people engaging in activities that they should not be during the stay-at-home order.
“The virus is as present and prevalent as it’s ever been. It’s transmissible as it’s ever been. Nothing has changed in that respect,” said Newsom during a press conference on Monday, as The Daily Wire previously reported. “As we change our behavior, we can impact the science, the health and the data. This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.”
As the governor suggests, many of the approximately 80,000 people who went to beaches in Orange County over the weekend were presumably trying to find a way to stay cool in the wave of 90-degree weather that had been sweeping over part of Southern California in the days prior.
Despite the governor’s remarks on Monday, Newport Beach, a city within Orange County, rejected a bid to close beaches on Tuesday, according to NBC Los Angeles. Lifeguards claimed that people were socially distancing and keeping at least six feet away from strangers, reports the news agency.
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