L.A. County Beaches Closed Due to Covid-19

– Courtesy photo by David Mark from Pixabay

Los Angeles County beaches and beach facilities were closed to the public Friday in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

By order of the Health Officer, all beaches, beach facilities and beach accessways will be closed through April 19, when the order expires. Department of Beaches and Harbors (DBH) crews began closing the beaches and amenities, including restrooms, Friday morning.

The bike path that runs along the beach also was closed and will remain off limits to cyclists.

Beach parking lots were closed earlier in the week and volleyball nets were removed to discourage gatherings on the beach. But as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Los Angeles area continues to surge, health officials determined full beach closures were necessary.

“As predicted, we are beginning to see a dramatic increase in diagnoses of COVID-19, and diagnosed cases have more than tripled in the last week,” said Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who represents Malibu and other coastal communities north of Marina del Rey. “Over the weeks to come, we very strongly urge everyone to take every possible step to stay out of harm’s way and avoid infecting other people. I ask every County resident to comply with the Safer at Home recommendations, including today’s health order to stay off of County beaches. Your cooperation could literally mean the difference between life and death for many County residents.”

The closures come after a weekend where tens of thousands of people flocked to the coast, ignoring the “Safer at Home” directive by gathering in large groups and not maintaining a social distance of 6 feet between each person.

“The crowds we saw at our beaches last weekend were unacceptable,” said Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn, whose district covers beaches in the South Bay. “In order to save lives, beaches in L.A. County will be temporarily closed. I understand that this is a huge sacrifice for everyone who enjoys going to our beaches, but we cannot risk another sunny weekend with crowds at the beach spreading this virus. This closure is temporary, and we can always reopen these beaches when it is safe to do so.”

DBH staff will monitor the coastline and coordinate with lifeguards, local beach cities, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and local law enforcement agencies to make sure people stay off the beaches, said DBH Director Gary Jones.

“Now is also the time for us to care for one another, to care for ourselves, and to care for our community,” Jones said. “If we help each other now, we’ll be back at the beaches soon.”

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