Some Beaches Reopen Despite Coronavirus
Warm temperatures returned to Southern California last week and the forecasts say they're here to stay. It’s perfect timing in the minds of beachgoers. After weeks of closures, a number of counties have announced the reopening of beaches despite COVID-19.
The counties of Ventura, Orange, San Diego, and Santa Cruz have either reopened some or all beaches or have relaxed their rules. Thousands flocked to Huntington Beach over the weekend. San Diego‘s latest health order takes effect Monday, April 27. The county is allowing cities to craft their own plans for beach openings. You can learn more about the phased reopening here.
But is it safe?
Experts believe it‘s extremely difficult to contract coronavirus in the ocean water. But crowding in parking lots, on trails, and on the sand is a serious concern. That’s particularly true when you have a patchwork of open beaches.
In Ventura, officials urged non-locals to use their own shores if possible and, if not, to stay home. Officials in Los Angeles County, where beaches remain closed to the public, worry their residents will flood the sands in neighboring Ventura or Orange and bring the virus home.
“When you go, you run the risk - because there will be many more people there - of running into people who are asymptomatic but they're able to infect you, and then you will bring that infection back to L.A. County and we absolutely don't need that," said L.A.’s Public Health Officer Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
Those who do return to the beach should always check the local guidelines first, then follow social distancing advice as closely as possible. Keep six feet from other people, wash or sanitize hands frequently, avoid surfaces like parking meters, and never share food or drinks with other people. Most importantly, if you have the slightest sniffle or tickle, stay home!