California Gov To Close All Beaches and State Parks, County Pushes Back: ‘Overreaction’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is planning to close all of the state’s beaches as of Friday, according to a memo circulating among California police agencies, a decision one local government leader slammed as “overreaction.”

The memo from the California Police Chiefs Associated reflected a Wednesday call state officials.

“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 [Thursday] that ALL beaches and all state parks in California will be closed, effective Friday, May 1st,” the memo said.

“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. The League of Cities and CSAC leadership have also been informed. State Parks personnel will be out in to help support local efforts as well,” the memo said.

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As of Thursday morning, media outlets were reporting that Newsom’s office was not commenting upon the memo.

However, on Wednesday, Newsom indicated that parks might be targeted as well as beaches, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m working with state parks and others,” he said. “And a lot of our other partners — Coastal Commission, State Lands [Commission] and others — to really figure out what our next steps are. And I can assure you that clarity will come in a very short period of time.”

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On Monday, the Democratic governor scolded those who flocked to beaches in Orange and Ventura counties.

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off,” he said. “The only thing that will set us back is people stopping to practice physical distancing and appropriate social distancing. That’s the only thing that’s going to slow down our ability to reopen this economy.”

Newsom noted the widespread media coverage showing beachgoers not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

“Those images are an example of what not to see, people, what not to do if we’re going to make meaningful progress,” he said, according to NPR.

Many on Twitter pushed back against a beach ban.

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Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner said Newsom was making a mistake if he closed the beaches.

“I believe Governor Newsom has the power to close Orange County beaches. However, it is not wise to do so. Medical professionals tell us the importance of fresh air and sunlight in fighting infectious diseases, including mental health benefits,” Wagner said.

“Moreover, Orange County citizens have been cooperative with California state and county restrictions thus far. I fear that this overreaction from the state will undermine that cooperative attitude and our collective efforts to fight the disease, based on the best available medical information,” the Republican said, according to KCOP-TV.

Dianne Jacob, a member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, said a statewide ban was a mistake, according to KFMB-TV.

“Now is not the time to further erode the judgment and authority of county public health officers and local government leaders,” Jacob said. “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 reopening plan in San Diego County was based on data and executed successfully.”

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via The Western Journal

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