California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration gave approval Tuesday to plans by Huntington Beach and two smaller cities to reopen beaches that fell under his order shutting down the entire Orange County coast after a heat wave drew large crowds to the shore.
Huntington Beach, the world famous surfing mecca, and the cities of Dana Point and Seal Beach submitted plans consistent with the governor’s orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic and include measures to avoid overcrowding and enable physical distancing, the state Natural Resources Agency said.
The action follows approval Monday of beach access plans submitted by two other cites, Laguna Beach and San Clemente, which essentially allow active use and not sunbathing.
The governor announced on April 30 that he was ordering all Orange County beaches to shut down after spring heat spell prompted thousands of people to head to the coast, primarily at Huntington Beach and adjacent Newport Beach.
Huntington Beach filed a lawsuit trying to get its beach reopened, but a judge refused to immediately block the order. Newport Beach supported that suit.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.