A thick weekend fog bank may have done more to reduce crowds in Malibu last weekend … than did the heavy sheriff’s presence.
At the very few beaches that were open in Southern California … reports were that moderately heavy crowds performed pretty well … in terms of social distancing.
But Friday … overcrowding was reported at some beaches in Ventura.
That prompted additional roadblocks Saturday and Sunday.
Ventura County had heavy law enforcement presence at all of the county’s beaches, and officers were informing visitors that they were supposed to only walk, run, swim or surf. Beach-goers were complying, she said.
People tried to stay at least six feet apart from one another.
There were no arrests or citations related to the stay-at-home orders.
Huntington Beach … same story … no one was cited for violating social-distancing guidelines.
In Newport Beach … crowds that showed up on beaches during the recent heat wave.
Newport Beach saw such an influx of visitors that officials opened up a parking lots, including Balboa Pier and Corona del Mar, because of the pressure on residential neighborhoods and streets … according to newspaper reports.
Once beachgoers find parking, they make the trek to the shore on narrow sidewalks that pass close by yards that residents may be trying to enjoy, Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon told the OC Register.
The Newport Beach council meeting will focus on whether to close beaches for three weekends – on Saturdays and Sundays from May 2 through May 17 – the city said in a news release on Sunday.
Another idea could be to close roadways leading into popular beach spots along the peninsula and Corona del Mar.
Closer to home … Santa Monica and L A beaches were sealed up tighter than a drum.
The beach closings are also testing the strength of messaging from health officials.
Most insist that staying at home is the best way to “flatten the curve” and restart the economy.
John Swartzberg is an infectious disease specialist at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
He tells the Los Angeles Times “I’m concerned.”
“If the people going to the beach can assure that they will remain six feet or more apart and not touch common things … then I think it’s OK.
“But I think the chances of that happening … is extremely small.”
Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, still has th ekeys to the beaches in Los Angeles.
She has repeatedly said that beaches should stay closed to prevent an overflow of visitors who might be carrying the coronavirus.
She says no.
People must maintain a sizable buffer between themselves and others — something that can be difficult at beaches and their adjacent parking lots.
Polls have found wide support for the stay-at-home order among Californians. Among those polled for a recent California Health Care Foundation/Ipsos survey, 75% wanted the order to continue as long as needed. Only 11% wanted to stop the stay-at-home order, while 13% had no opinion.