Thousands Visit Beaches in Southern California During Pandemic

April 26, 2020 Updated: April 26, 2020

Thousands of people visited beaches in Orange County, California, over the weekend as temperatures soared over 80 degrees F as officials continue to advise people to avoid public places and mass gatherings amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

Videos and photos showed throngs of people at Huntington Beach and Newport Beach on Saturday. According to an Associated Press estimation, more than 40,000 people visited Newport Beach on Friday.

Epoch Times Photo
People are seen gathering on the Corona del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach, California, on April 25, 2020. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Beaches in Los Angeles and San Diego counties are closed due to stay-at-home orders. State-operated beaches are also closed, AP reported.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore noted that Los Angeles County beaches were empty on Saturday and thanked residents.

“My compliments to our community for staying away from the beaches in LA. From Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, to Dockweiler – All Clear!! Safer at Home will get us there sooner,” he wrote.

Brian O’Rourke, a lifeguard battalion chief in Newport Beach, told NBC News that there were virtually no problems as they tried to have people adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Epoch Times Photo
People are seen gathering on the Corona del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach, California, on April 25, 2020. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

“It’s crowded out,” O’Rourke said. “We haven’t had too many issues with [social distancing] as lifeguards. Our primary mission is watching the water. We’ve had dozens of ocean rescues and hundreds of preventative actions.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents to avoid leaving their areas to go visit counties with fewer restrictions.

Epoch Times Photo
People are seen gathering on the Corona del Mar State Beach in Huntington Beach, California, on April 25, 2020. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

“I just caution you, if you’re going to get in the car, make a long drive and expect to find parking to go to a closed beach, it is very unlikely,” Newsom said, reported the Ventura County Star. He added that people visiting open parks and beaches should “abide by social distancing.”