Governor Approves Orange County Beaches Reopening Plan


SANTA ANA (CNS)—State officials on May 7 approved Orange County’s active-use plans for its 16 percent of shoreline, reopening all of the county’s beaches a week after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered them shut down when throngs crowded beaches in defiance of COVID-19-prompted stay-at-home orders.

Orange County’s plans mirror the same hours and restrictions in each of the cities where the county has jurisdiction.

During the last week of April, Newsom scolded Orange County officials for not doing more to discourage large gatherings on its beaches. The county had closed parking lots, but officials were not willing to close access to the beaches, and large crowds gathered there when they could not visit beaches in neighboring Los Angeles County.

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel and Supervisor Don Wagner complained that the governor made his decision based on newspaper photographs that they argued were deceptive, since a telephoto lens made it appear beachgoers were closer together.

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