SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Beaches in the City of San Diego and Encinitas reopened for recreation activities Monday, but numerous beaches in the county remain closed as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has passed the 3,000 mark.
Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach opened at sunrise, allowing surfers, swimmers, kayakers and paddleboarders in the ocean, as well as runners and walkers on the sand. Imperial Beach will allow access to the beach, but not the ocean, which is too polluted to allow people in the water because of the ongoing issue of runoff from the Tijuana River.
But group gatherings, parking in lots and lying down on the beach are not allowed. Those activities could be lifted in Phase 2.
"The only way beaches can reopen and stay open is if the regulations developed by public health officials and regional lifeguards are followed," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "Public health concerns from overcrowding led to the closure of beaches in the first place back in March, and decisions will continue to be made with the goal of protecting the well- being of every San Diegan. Please stay classy, San Diego."
Specific restrictions will be in place under the first phase of City of San Diego beach reopenings:
- Parking lots
- Fiesta Island
NOT PERMITTED ANYWHERE:
- Non-physical distancing activities
- ONLY walking and running
- NO stopping, sitting or lying down
- ONLY swimming, surfing, and single-person paddle boarding and kayaking
- ONLY single-person paddle boarding and kayaking
- NO swimming
Moonlight Beach in Encinitas will also reopen Monday for walking, running and all water activities except for boating, Encinitas city spokesman Patrick Platt said Sunday. Beachgoers must continue to practice social distancing and are asked to wear face coverings. If those orders are violated, the beach may be re-closed.
Because the county surprised so many beach cities on Friday with the sudden lifting of a ban on ocean activity, not all beaches will be opening Monday.
Beaches in Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach will not be open. Officials in those cities will consider opening at a later date.
The total number of cases among San Diego County residents is now at 3,043, the county reported Sunday. The total number of deaths in the county remained at 111.
The number of people requiring hospitalization is 696, or 22.9% of cases, and the number of cases placed in intensive care is 227, or 7.5% of all cases.
Of 1,297 tests reported to the county Saturday, 8% were positive.