Despite the coronavirus outbreak, tens of thousands of people flocked to California beaches as a result of a springtime heat wave.
According to reports, 50,000 people visited beaches on Friday, and more are expected in the upcoming days as temperatures near 100 degrees. “It’s hot out, and we’re seeing the crowds increase, doubling every day,” Newport Beach Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brian O’Rourke told the CBS Los Angeles, Saturday. “Yesterday we had about 20,000 people. Today I would expect almost double that.”
Now beaches in California have been closed since last month, yet many beaches in Orange and Ventura counties have remained open with restrictions, including a ban on sunbathing and access to parking lots—with intent to reduce visitation from outside residents.
“We are expecting crowds of up to 30 or 40 thousand in the city of Newport Beach at the beach,” O’Rourke told CNN. “People are coming from everywhere. When the crowds get extremely large it’s challenging because we are focusing on the water, because we don’t want people to drown. There’s still some surf and rip currents out there.”
RIGHT NOW: This is the scene from #Air7HD in Newport Beach, CA as the #COVID19 death toll surges in Southern California @ABC7 #LosAngeles pic.twitter.com/Nmta8hU69H
— Chris Cristi (@abc7chriscristi) April 24, 2020