San Diego County Supervisors Jacob, Cox urge Newsom to reconsider California beach closures

Posted at 6:52 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 15:54:02-04

UPDATE (4/30, 12:45 p.m.): Gov. Newsom said Wednesday only beaches in Orange County will be temporarily closed, and he went on to praise San Diego and Los Angeles counties for properly handling beach reopenings in their jurisdictions. FULL STORY

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Greg Cox wrote letters to Gov. Gavin Newsom, urging him to reconsider his plans to close all California’s beaches and state parks to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

According to a law enforcement bulletin sent to California police chiefs and obtained by several state media outlets, the governor is set to announce the closures on Thursday.

The bulletin, sent on Wednesday, stated: "After the well-publicized media coverage of overcrowded beaches this past weekend, in violation of Governor Newsom's Shelter in Place Order, the Governor will be announcing tomorrow that ALL beaches and all state parks in California will be closed, effective Friday, May 1st … 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."

RELATED: Newsom set to close California beaches again

In response to the governor’s plans, Supervisor Jacob wrote a letter asking Newsom to “immediately rescind” his decision.

Jacob said, in part: “We are all in a difficult situation with the health crisis, and now is not the time to further erode the judgment and authority of county public health officers and local government leaders.

While you have every right to be concerned about areas of California that have been flooded with beachgoers, not every region experienced the same activity and shouldn’t be treated with a broad brush. The re-opening plan in San Diego County was based on data and executed successfully.

We are pleased to say that social distancing, gathering restrictions, sanitation protocols and facial coverings were appropriately maintained. Our residents did everything we asked. If that changes, the public health officer, law enforcement and local elected officials in San Diego County should have the ability to take action.

We know our region best, and you should instead be looking at ways to offer greater flexibility as we tackle this issue at the local level.”

In his own letter, Supervisor Cox noted that San Diegans “received a great reward” on April 27 -- the “approval to return to our ocean waters.”

However, Cox added: “Therefore, it is with great surprise and extreme disappointment to hear that you are ordering our beaches closed. It is our deepest hope, that you will reconsider this edict and allow our local jurisdictions to safely oversee restricted access to our beautiful beaches.

We remain steadfastly committed to following your Executive Order but actions that appear positive when our residents have been faithful and fully complaint make this challenging. Please, we urge you to reconsider this decision and allow our citizens to responsibly and safely enjoy beach and ocean recreation.”

The governor's decision comes just after Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the reopening of San Diego City beaches for exercise beginning Monday.

The City of Del Mar was scheduled to reopen its beaches on Thursday, but has since canceled that move in anticipation of Newsom's announcement.