California reopening could be delayed if people keep packing beaches

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  • Photos taken over the weekend show crowds on California’s Newport and Huntington Beaches amid a heatwave and a statewide stay-at-home order.
  • Officials have said that those going to the beach are still putting distance amongst themselves, but residents in Southern California said the crowds were sizable this past weekend.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that people dismissing the order restrictions could delay eventual reopening plans for the state.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Photos taken this past weekend showed some open beaches in Southern California full of people amid a heat wave — and during the statewide stay-at-home order directing residents to stay inside to contain the coronavirus.

As Business Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reports, some of the state’s beaches are closed during the order, such as those in Los Angeles County. But others in Orange County remain open, like Huntington and Newport Beaches. And photos taken over the past few days showing beachgoers flocking en masse to the shore quickly gained online traction.

In a Monday press conference, California Gov. Gavin Newsom scolded residents who had taken to beaches this past weekend.

“Those images are an example of what not to see, what not to do if we’re going to make the meaningful progress we’ve made the past couple of weeks,” the governor said, according to ABC7News.

He did note that the majority of people who flocked to the shore, such as those in San Diego and San Mateo counties, abided by the rules, as KTVU reports.

On April 14, Newsom outlined a reopening plan for the state of California, which is contingent upon multiple factors including widespread testing, contact tracing, and “individual accountability” on behalf of residents. He said it would be a matter of “toggling” between loosening restrictions and tightening them again as the state explored how best to exit the stay-at-home order.

The beachgoers pictured over the weekend, he said, could be threatening that eventual reopening. Newsom said state leaders are “weeks away” from making the modifications to the order, but if there is an uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases, they would be delayed.

“Let’s just get through this thing together so that we can get so much farther, so much quicker,” Newsom said Monday.

There are at least 43,925 confirmed cases of the disease in California. 

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