At a press briefing Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the closures of Orange County beaches in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, but beaches on the Central Coast will remain open with the restrictions already in place.
The order to close Orange County beaches goes into effect Friday, May 1.
The announcement comes after Newsom addressed the amount of people gathering at beaches in Southern California this past weekend.
"We're doing our best to let folks know what's at stake if we set back the clock and delay our reopening as an economy," Newsom said. "I don't want to delay it. The only thing that will delay it is more weekends like last weekend in the next few weekends. Let's not see that happen. I want to get this economy open as badly as everybody else does but lets do it safely and smartly."
On Wednesday night, the California Police Chiefs Association informed Police Chiefs across the state that Gov. Newsom would be issuing this order. The release was made to give law enforcement a 'heads up' so they can plan on how to best enforce these restrictions in their communities. The memo indicated Newsom planned to close all beaches in the state. But Thursday, Newsom said the order only applied to beaches in Orange County.
"This was the guidance that we're providing, this was the determination to continue to be led by data, by science, by the spread of the disease and by public health officials," Newsom said. "So this determination was made by in concert with all those groups, but none more important than our public health team."
As of Thursday, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County beaches were not affected.
However, earlier this week, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County health officials urged tourists to stay away from the area, in order to prevent a reversal of the progress made in flattening the curve of COVID-19.
During his daily briefing, Newsom also underscored several modifications that have been made to guidelines about activities that are OK. Click here for more information on what is and isn’t allowed.
The governor also announced a new portal to help parents find safe and licensed child care providers in their area.
The state has now partnered with 432 pop up facilities to help parents in need of child care access.