'I'm Not That Scared': Crowds Hit Calif. Beaches

Temperatures near 90 degrees as tens of thousands of people emerge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2020 5:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – A lingering heat wave lured people to Southern California beaches, rivers, and trails again Sunday, prompting warnings from officials that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress and bring the coronavirus surging back, the AP reports. Tens of thousands of people packed the sand at Newport Beach in Orange County, where residents compared weekend crowds to the Fourth of July and lifeguards reminded people to stay apart if they were in groups of six or more. Neighboring Huntington Beach also saw big gatherings, despite the closure of parking lots and metered parking restricted along Pacific Coast Highway. Temperatures were close to 90 degrees.

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Robin Ford surveyed the crush of Huntington Beach visitors with concern. "You would think it was summer," he told the Orange County Register. "I get it, everyone has been locked up and they need to get out, but the city should plan for this. People are pulling up to the beach, getting out of Ubers, dropping off friends." But he added that "unless all these people are in one household, it does look like they are not social distancing. They could be spread out more." The LA Times reports that a few visitors wore masks, but sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas were far more common. "I believe I'm taking my precautions, practicing social distancing, constantly washing our hands," said an Azusa resident. "So I'm not that scared."

(Read more California stories.)

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