Orange County Closes Parks, Trails; Some OC Cities Shut Down Beaches

COSTA MESA (CBSLA) – Orange County shut down all its parks and trails Tuesday to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, but many of its beaches remained open.

A man exercises on Venice Beach on March 23, 2020 in Venice, Calif. (Getty Images)

The county announced Monday night that parking lots for “all regional and wilderness parks” were to be closed indefinitely, which included trailheads.

The O.C. Zoo in Irvine Regional Park was closed as well.

“Beaches and beach parking lots remain open at this time,” the county said in a news release.

The O.C. Board of Supervisors held a meeting Tuesday morning in which it debated whether to institute a county-wide beach ban.

A county spokesperson told CBS2 Tuesday that Orange County Executive Officer Frank Kim was set to issue a directive to close parking lots for all county-owned beaches: Aliso Beach, Capistrano Beach, Dana Point Harbor, Newport Harbor, Salt Creek Beach and Sunset Harbour.

Meanwhile, some individual O.C. cities went ahead and decided to close their beaches after massive crowds descended on them over the weekend, making it difficult for people to engage in social distancing.

The city of Seal Beach closed all its beaches and parks, while Costa Mesa closed all its city parks and its city-owned golf course.

The Laguna Beach City Council also ordered the closure of its beaches Monday evening, according to the Daily Pilot.

The city of Huntington Beach closed its pier and parks as well, although its beaches were still open to surfers and runners.

“It was just a madhouse down here, so we stayed away,” Huntington Beach resident Allan Ansdell told CBS2 Tuesday concerning the weekend crowds.

The city of Newport Beach closed all its parks and playgrounds. It reported Tuesday it was closing all its beach parking lots and its piers.

RELATED: LA Trails, Golf Courses Closed Due To Large Weekend Crowds

On Monday, the state announced that parking lots at all state beaches and state parks would be closed to try and stem the number of visitors.

In Los Angeles County meanwhile, Santa Monica Sunday was forced to close all its beach parking lots in an attempt to keep people off the beaches, bike paths and out of Palisades Park. The Santa Monica Pier has been closed since early last week.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti closed all parking lots for city beaches, which include Cabrillo and Venice. The Venice Boardwalk was closed as well.

On March 17, O.C. Health Officer Dr. Nicole Quick issued an emergency order banning all public and private gatherings outside of essential services and to-go service for restaurants through March 31.