California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday blasted beachgoers who sought refuge at the shore during last weekend’s warm weather.
“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off, this virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts,” the governor said at his daily briefing.
Newsom called out those who flocked to Huntington Beach and Newport Beach in Orange County, saying they exemplify “what not to do” as the state works towards making “meaningful changes” to its stay-at-home order.
But Orange County Executive Officer Frank Kim defended the beachgoers, who, he said, followed social distancing guidelines.
“From what I could tell, all of the individuals that are along the sand, they were placing their umbrellas and they were congregating within their own family unit,” Kim said.
“What I saw was an effort from all of the participants who were using the amenities to adhere to the principle of social distancing.”
Newsom urged local governments to reconsider their beach directives. Some beaches in the state have either remained open or recently began easing coronavirus restrictions.
“I respect local decision making,” Newsom said. “But I cannot impress upon people more, that the only thing that will set us back is our behavior.”
Officials in Newport plan to meet Tuesday to discuss possibly shuttering beaches for the next three weekends.
With Post wires
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