As spring gives way to warmer temperatures, officials from Gov. Gavin Newsom to local police have asked Californians to continue social distancing and avoid crowds as the state remains under a stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Much of California will see highs in the 80s and 90s the last weekend of April.
“It’s going to be nice outside this weekend,” Newsom tweeted on Friday afternoon. You might be feeling cooped up. Ready for life to go back to ‘normal.’ But can’t stress this enough: CA can only keep flattening the curve if we stay home and practice physical distancing. You have the power to literally save lives.”
In Southern California, the first heatwave of the season comes as some coastal areas begin to ease restrictions. (Click here to see which local beaches are open and closed.)
Ventura County and some Orange County cities have opened beaches but are keeping parking lots closed to deter crowds.
“Please, please, please, do not drive from outside the area, particularly outside the county,” said Oxnard police Chief Scott Whitney, warning that non-residents will be asked to turn back.
Meanwhile, all beaches in the city of Los Angeles will remain closed. While that includes Venice, at least a dozen surfers were seen in the water early Saturday.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday that police and lifeguards will ask people to comply with the stay-at-home order rather than issue citations or make arrests. He emphasized that the city will reopen sooner as Angelenos do their part in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
“There is a direct correlation between what you do this weekend and how long this will take and how many lives we will lose,” Garcetti said. “Keep that in mind and do the right thing this weekend.”
On Saturday, Santa Monica police reminded the public that while beaches are closed, cooling centers, smoothie shops and other food service locations are open.
“We hold onto hope that many more post-pandemic sunny days are in our future,” the Police Department said on Twitter. “For now, we must remain focused on our goal to flatten the curve.”