NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – At a special meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the Newport Beach City Council voted to keep the beaches open for the next few weekends, despite a heatwave last weekend that saw people flock to beaches in Orange County.
Closing the beaches was one of three agenda items related to coronavirus response and recovery that were discussed at the meeting.
The meeting also weighed in on developing an Ad Hoc City Council committee to guide the reopening of city businesses, and adopting a resolution supporting Orange County’s reopening/recovery plan.
The temporary beach closure the council considered would have seen Newport Beach's beaches closed for three upcoming consecutive weekends: May 2 and 3; May 9 and 10; and May 16 and 17.
SoCal’s beaches have become something of a flash-point in terms of efforts to “flatten the curve” against the coronavirus pandemic.
With inland temps soaring into the 90s over the weekend, images reminiscent of those captured on Florida's beaches appeared on social media, showing what looked like large crowds at beaches across Orange and Ventura Counties. With the seemingly large crowds, it was unclear whether beach-goers were practicing the appropriate social distancing measures.
The Huntington Beach Police Department tweeted that “despite what’s being reported, the majority of our beach goers are complying with social distancing.”
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Police Chief Michel Moore praised Angelenos for largely steering clear of the Los Angeles beaches over the weekend, despite the summer-like weather conditions.
The Newport Beach City Council meeting is set for Tuesday, April 28 at 3 p.m. It will be broadcast live through the city's website.