Thousands of Americans have crowded beaches like Santa Monica, Newport or Huntington that take advantage of the first weekend with high spring temperatures and despite the threat of the corona virus.
Some beaches in the Orange and Ventura counties are open to bathers, although dozens of infected and deceased continue to be counted as authorities have told people to stay home except for necessary excursions or sports in their own neighborhood.
Only Los Angeles County has reported 48 deaths and 607 new infections, and local health officials have unsuccessfully requested that the beaches be closed.
“We understand that people outside want to have fun,” said Tom Higgins, Ventura County’s police commander, despite warning in statements to the Los Angeles Times that the influx was “too big.”
Most of the rules of social distancing have been observed, the authorities emphasized. For example, Newport Beach Police spokeswoman Heather Rangel found that no arrests were made in connection with the restrictions. “The beaches are crowded and it seems like summer in Newport,” he said.