Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

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Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches
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Leadbetter Beach packed with people on April 25, 2020 (Photo: Baron Erik Spafford / edhat)

Update by edhat staff
April 30, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom announced only the beaches in Orange County will close due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Newsom stated the decision to make a hard closure of Orange County beaches was largely due to photos and reports of crowds throughout the county last weekend.

Santa Barbara County beaches are expected to remain open this weekend as officials continue to urge people to socially distance and not to congregate in crowds.

Newsom clarified the memo by the California Police Chief's Association was not written by the Governor's office and he never stated all California beaches were to be closed. He continued by saying he's a beach advocate and has worked to keep all the beaches open, even giving a shout out to signing a bill to open Hollister Ranch beach in Gaviota.

While Newsom praised other counties for their concerted efforts to distance at the beach, he stated this effort is a targeted approach to address concerns in specific communities.

"We’re going to have a temporary pause on the beaches [in Orange County]," he said. "If we can get some framework and guidelines to get this right, we can open very quickly. We got to make sure we get this right." 

Governor Expected to Close California Beaches

By edhat staff
April 29, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to close all California beaches and state parks starting Friday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news was leaked from a memo written by the California Police Chief's Association to all law enforcement agencies giving them time to prepare for the order.

"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 memo states.

The closure is expected to be in response to numerous reports, videos, and photos depicting hundreds and sometimes thousands of people on California beaches this past weekend. 

Images from Orange and Ventura counties were shown throughout the state of crowded beaches. Newsom commented on such images earlier this week, warning these acts could delay re-opening the state.

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home. We have to manage and augment our behavior,” he said. “The only thing that will set us back is people stopping practicing physical distancing.”

Edhat readers shared photos of people on Leadbetter Beach while other reports stated an overflow at Hendry's Beach. 

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart made it clear in past press conferences that the county will follow the Governor's orders. 

Newsom is expected to officially make the beach and park closure announcement on Thursday.

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a-1588269934 Apr 30, 2020 11:05 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

I am frequently at the harbor and out on the water, but I am totally okay with temporarily closing the beaches, in the interest of the public interest (i.e. decreasing infectious disease transmission). I'd rather have a less infectious and slightly less tan general public, so we can eliminate this pandemic and get back to what semblance of normal life we will have in the future.

SBCARNUT53 Apr 30, 2020 11:10 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Newsom is punishing us …………...He is a Tyrant, I posted my thoughts the other day as I believe this is yet another political hit. Needless to say my post was removed. Our city leaders are beyond weak, all of these problems we are now facing are because of the shut down. Everyone is running around with masks & disinfectant, I see people in their cars by themselves wearing masks? your afraid of getting sick from your car? Everything that's happening is unbelievable! The numbers don't lie, Newsom claimed 25 million in Calif would have the virus, WRONG! Actually everything Newsom says is wrong, he is a hardcore leftist...……. anyone that can't see this , well I don't know? My business is going to hell! My Daughter is a local restaurant owner of 11 years, she works very hard & now losing everything! Thanks, Newsom! People need to start using common sense , unite & re-open our community before it's to late. Sadly common sense just isn't that common anymore.

sacjon Apr 30, 2020 11:32 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

SBCARNUT - the numbers are low BECAUSE of everything we've done to prevent the spread. BUT, closing the beaches is still wrong. We can continue to responsibly social distance without being completely shut down. The kids are losing everything now, no school, no sports, and now they can't even go outdoors? This is BS. This is LAZY. We can still social distance and keep safe while doing things like going to the beach or even playing some sports! Heck, golf courses are open!

bigone Apr 30, 2020 12:50 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Spot On SBCAR53. But It's more than just punishment. It is an insidious process by decree that Newsom and local governments are eliminating our First and Second Amendment rights. I fear complete control of our lives is the ultimate goal with these types of politicians. They were elected to serve the people, not dictate to us, and deny us the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Many people here are claiming that the beaches and parks are closed because we didn't follow the rules. In actuality, it is because Newsom is the governor and he believes he can do damn well what he wants under the guise of protecting you and so can't be challenged, which is the excuse all dictatorships use. I guess it's time I break out the old "Question Authority" and "Resist" bumper stickers. I don't think any of us thought what we are seeing and experiencing locally and throughout this country would ever come to be, but here it is. It is like a dream come true for the CCP. The famous phase from Patrick Henry is echoing more and more in my mind, "Give me liberty, or give me death."

a-1588276815 Apr 30, 2020 01:00 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

SACJON, it has not been proven or verifiable that everything we've done has had any affect on the spread of the virus. That is coming from various medical and scientific studies using data analyzed from throughout the country. Those conclusions just aren't being reported by most of the large news agencies; those sources are only posting the studies which claim it is working. Indeed, many of the findings that contradict that are being removed from YouTube. As CSF stated elsewhere, probably the only way to eliminate this virus is through complete and total lockdown - and that is impossible unless you want a complete police state.

Ahchooo Apr 30, 2020 02:07 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Sbcarnut, a whole slew of comments, including yours, were deleted because they went too far from the Edhat guidelines: discussion of local issues only. It wasn’t personal.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 30, 2020 11:38 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Either have complete shutdown, with 100% enforcement to extinguish this thing in a couple of weeks, or open up everything and let people go out and catch this thing if they want. This in-between is a frustratingly slow bleed. The downside of total lockdown in CA or the entire US, is that you’ll still have people circulating this thing somewhere and eventually it will find its way back here to rekindle another outbreak. So the enforced shutdown would have to be worldwide, and good luck with that. Opening things up gets us closer to “herd immunity”, but could overwhelm the healthcare system, which itself is circling the drain because regular, non-essential procedures have ground to a halt. It seems that the most serious concern is there might not be enough beds and ventilators if opening everything up were to cause the number of cases to explode. Well so be it, as long as hospitals keep a certain portion of the beds/ventilators reserved for people who’ve elected to stay home but find themselves in need of health care. Too bad if all of the COVID-19-designated beds are full and there are still COVID-19 patients are out on the sidewalk, frothing pink foam from their mouths. If people who wish to freely circulate without masks are fine with that prospect, I’m fine too. But that’s not realistic. In the real world the people who choose to freely circulate, get COVID-19 and require medical attention would form advocacy groups and would demand the bed space reserved for the “most vulnerable” segments of our population, which they advised to stay home.

ginger1 Apr 30, 2020 11:53 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

OMG! Seriously? People believe that crap? PLEASE stay away. "Too bad if all of the "COVID-19-designated beds are full and there are still COVID-19 patients are out on the sidewalk, frothing pink foam from their mouths." The fear and hysteria continue. We are doomed. Call out the National Guard! Cordon off the city! Lock 'em up!

Xantus Apr 30, 2020 12:41 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

the biggest meme that is prevalent here is... "you could get reinfected / anytime we open up, cases can explode".... ok.. so... we have 3 MILLION + confirmed cases in the USA. There has been ample time for someone who was exposed... to get "re-exposed" ... can anyone show even 10 cases in the USA that are confirmed re-exposures leading to symptoms requiring re-hospitalization?

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 30, 2020 01:05 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

X: I think you mean 3 million + confirmed globally. There are only a little more than 1 M in the US currently and no reports of re-infections. Only 0.3% of the US population has tested positive, so there's a long way to go from 0.3% to minimum ~30% required for herd immunity, without a vaccine. Given how contagious this virus is, I bet you could get up to that number quickly without any measures. The key thing is that the mortality isn't as high as SARS, so most people should pull through and presumably be immune for a period of time. I have no problem with people going out and trying to build up the herd immunity. Go for it!

Xantus Apr 30, 2020 02:03 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

yes... globally... so i'll drop it to show me 5 cases in the USA (because truly fact checking this granular of a statistic from another country is many of orders of magnitude harder)

Coolio Apr 30, 2020 11:50 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Having to wear a mask when I enter a store or not being allowed to sit on the beach seems like a reasonable inconvenience if it will get the curve to descend in California to the point where it is actually safe to reopen and not worry so much about a resurgence which would only cause more pain.

a-1588273106 Apr 30, 2020 11:58 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

As of yesterday you have a .0018% chance of dying from CV in Santa Barbara County, and a .011% chance of contracting CV. So, lets only let SB County residents on the beaches in SB County. This is crazy making. Taking away our beaches.... who would have ever thought this possible.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 30, 2020 12:06 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

How do you keep the non-SB residents from using our beaches? Last weekend I walked out to the Ellwood Mesa and looked down on the beach and there were people everywhere. The problem is that most of them were not locals, which was easy to tell from their clothing. Who wears black dresses, tons of jewelry, and brown suede shoes to the beach? Clearly a lot of LA residents came up here, or down to the OC, since LA beaches were closed.

ginger1 Apr 30, 2020 12:27 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Consider this: Why not stop and interview passengers in every vehicle entering SB on 101 Freeway? Basic CV screening--questionnaire, temperature, for example. Mostly to impress upon them the seriousness of the matter. Hand them a note requesting that they do not visit our beaches right now and a reminder of what is safe(r) behavior. Post signs at likely to be impacted beaches reading: "SB Co. Residents Only Please" That should deter at least some visitors. Perhaps enough to matter. Although I abhor Draconian measures, this is a reasonable temporary approach. Thoughts?

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 30, 2020 01:22 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Ginger: So you're proposing to put up some kind of check point on the 101 freeway, where you'll stop traffic, holding up valuable freight deliveries, and subject people to a possibly illegal stop so you can interrogate them despite the fact that most of the traffic on the 101 just passes through the county? And you call these beach closures Draconian?

a-1588274888 Apr 30, 2020 12:28 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

First amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” You can make a strong argument that hanging out at the beach is a form of peaceable assembly.

sacjon Apr 30, 2020 01:05 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

12:28 - temporary restrictions based on a health emergency are perfectly legal. "The First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct an assembly at which there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, or interference with traffic on public streets, or other immediate threat to public safety or order" (Jones v. Parmley, 465 F.3d 46, 56–57 (2d Cir. 2006)). So, it can easily be argued that leaving the beaches open could constitute "other immediate threat to public safety." Is it right or true? No, I don't think it is. I think it would be easy to keep the beaches open if they were adequately patrolled, but the argument remains that closing the beaches is a constitutional limitation on the right to assemble. Also....... the right to assemble usually applies to protests where the freedom of speech is being exercised, not really a beach where people are getting some sun.

Sam The Dog Apr 30, 2020 01:21 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

My issue is when temporary becomes permanent. We were told to temporarily stay at home to "bend the curve" so as to not overwhelm the health care systems capacity. We did that, so much so that the hospitals are empty and laying off staff, yet the stay at home order has not been lifted. Now it's stay at home until metrics that the gov. hasn't even quantified are met, and can change. This is when temporary becomes the new normal and is the line in the sand for me.

sacjon Apr 30, 2020 01:32 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

SAM - I really don't think the goal of the gov't is to permanently keep us in our homes and close our beaches. This maybe "temporary" for a little while longer, but where is the concern that we will be ordered to stay out of businesses, beaches, etc permanently coming from? What would be the motive of the gov't to ruin our economy permanently and keep the citizens locked up? I just don't see that.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 30, 2020 01:39 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

SACJON: I guess the motivation that escapes you is that Trump built his success, and justification of a second term, around his very strong economic numbers. By taking that away from Trump, you give an edge to Biden or whoever the Democrats end up nominating. Aside from Democrats, the Chinese would certainly benefit from a new administration that might be willing to re-negotiate Trump's recent trade agreements. Lots of politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are friendly with the either the Chinese government or donors who do business with them.

sacjon Apr 30, 2020 01:46 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

SUPERFREAK - good point, I forgot about that. But still, the damage is already done with temporary restrictions, so why would they want to make them permanent? It sill doesn't make sense.

DBD Apr 30, 2020 02:17 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Sacjon- I don't have any idea what the motivation behind making closures permanent is, but there have been many road closures in the backcountry that were temporary which have never reopened. Temporary can have a loose definition when the Gov uses it.

sacjon Apr 30, 2020 02:31 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

DBD - backcountry road closures, is one thing, permanently closing beaches, barbershops, bars and everything else is another..... like not even remotely comparable. I wouldn't worry too much about all this being permanent. There is no reason for anyone, even evil libs, to do this!

420722 Apr 30, 2020 05:43 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Two weeks people, this is was supposed to be two weeks “stay at home”!!! Two months later were still at home and we have to adapt to a new way of life (it’s called communism btw) Newsom knew all he had to do was throw the S word (science) out there to his sheep and they all foamed at the mouth. This is nothing more than a power grab by the government. We gave them an inch and they took miles, good luck getting it back. This will not be the last gov’t “shutdown” in our lifetime. It was too easy to control us.

a-1588275654 Apr 30, 2020 12:40 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

58,318 Americans died in the Vietnam War over many years. Upwards of 60,000 Americans have died so far due to Covid-19 in a couple of months. And you are complaining that you can't go to the beach this weekend?

ginger1 Apr 30, 2020 03:23 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

29,000 people died from influenza this year. Possibly much higher as the numbers after Feb got put in the COVID pile. 80,000 died the previous year. You remember, the year when the vaccination did not match the virus? There were over a million hospitalizations. We did not lock down society. Why? Because flu happens every year, sometimes worse than others. We're "used to it" and isn't that telling? Far more people have died from influenza than the from CoVID. Or the Vietnam War. And almost every year influenza returns. And every years it begins in September and starts to decline in March and is almost gone by May. The curve for COVID is identical. Midway down the page:

a-1588341235 May 01, 2020 06:53 AM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

GINGER I’m calling out your blatant, immoral attempt to distort the truth. Comparing flu deaths to COVID deaths as you have is statistically invalid. Why? Time. It’s the lack of understanding of simple concepts and unwillingness to question assumptions that has me truly worried. $$$$ is the root of all evil. Heard that one? Satan has you in his grip, you sorry minion. Serving him at the expense of your fellow man, that’s how you will be remembered.

a-1588278039 Apr 30, 2020 01:20 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Whatever happened to warning signs so that we as adults can make our own decisions. That's what they do when the water has high levels of bacteria in it. So how about "WARNING: if you make the choice to go on this beach, you will potentially be exposed to other people's germs which have a medium to low chance of killing you. However, you have a 99% chance of NOT dying from it. So stay 6' away from others while enjoying the health benefits of fresh sea air, ocean waters and sunshine" Friggen common sense.

Frederick Apr 30, 2020 01:23 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

We can wait and see what happens in Georgia After it recently reopened including its beaches.. If in 3 or 4 weeks Georgia doesn’t see a spike than other states can start reopening.

a-1588279061 Apr 30, 2020 01:37 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

Matty - if the only way back to normal is us continuing the temporary restrictions, then so be it. I draw the line in the sand (pun intended) with the beach closures, but everything else is necessary to slow the spread even more. The more people are out there being selfish and not distancing, the longer we will have to wait to go back to normal. It's folks like those who crowded the beaches last weekend and those protesters in MI, NC, etc that are getting infected at their own protests that are making the drag out longer! I've been saying this all along, go outside but be safe and responsible, otherwise this happens. Bite the bullet and do what needs to be done, or we will lose our entire summer!

Get over it Apr 30, 2020 06:27 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

@1:37 and everyone else.

So, when all this began, we were told we needed to shelter at home and if out social distance. Why? Because of the fear, all of our hospitals would be overwhelmed. " flatten the curve" was the goal to make sure our hospitals could handle the influx of patients. That has happened almost everywhere... The extra beds have been eliminated, hospital ships heading home and yet more and more restrictions are imposed. It's not going to just go away and I for one cannot just toss my lively hood out the window and wait until there is a vaccine. There have been zero financial options for self-employed small business. At least any that actually happens and I would rather earn it myself anyway. Quarantine the sick and the people who are elderly or have medical conditions. Don't quarantine the healthy folks because it makes people feel safer or because you, the government, want more control! Rant over.

a-1588279261 Apr 30, 2020 01:41 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

If Newsom actually now confirms that he is only closing down Orange County beaches because "he didn't see the memo" about him closing all beaches and parks, then he has backpedaled like a crab under citizen and county supervisors' protests alike and the political backlash he feared. Maybe if we consider strongly protesting many of the other outrageous, egregious, and Constitutional-violating other laws he has both enacted and plans to enact during his reign of terror, his dictatorship will come to an end. The ballot boxes in November are a good place to start, too. We have not yet seen the end to this tyranny, I'm afraid.

PitMix Apr 30, 2020 02:38 PM
Governor Newsom Only Closes Orange County Beaches

You should try reading the story "Newsom clarified the memo by the California Police Chief's Association was not written by the Governor's office and he never stated all California beaches were to be closed. " But stating an uninformed opinion because it provides apparent support for your position is how it is done now - good work!


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