NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Overcrowding at some California beaches and parks has given local officials second thoughts about keeping them open next weekend at the risk of reversing progress made in slowing the spread of the coronavirus and causing a deadly surge of cases.
City officials in Newport Beach called on Sunday for a special meeting to consider shutting beaches for everybody in the next few weekends. Officials are set to reconsider the closures during a meeting on Tuesday.
A spring heat wave lured tens of thousands people there, and residents compared the crowd size to something typically seen on July 4.
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"While most of the beachgoers were practicing responsible social distancing, the volume of visitors generated significant neighborhood impacts and ran counter guidance from California State Parks to 'stay close to home when you get outdoors. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach,'" the city's website read.
The city said it will consider closing the beaches for three consecutive weekends on May 2 and 3; May 9 and 10; and May 16 and 17; or, alternatively, closing roadways that lead to popular beach spots.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti acknowledged the sunshine is tempting, but he urged people to stay home to save lives.