Nearly all SoCal beaches to close over 4th of July weekend amid COVID-19 surge

Beaches up and down the Southern California coast are closing down for the Fourth of July holiday weekend amid a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Beaches up and down the Southern California coast are closing down for the Fourth of July holiday weekend amid a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Normally around this time of year, people are flocking to beaches. But this year, nearly all beaches across Los Angeles and Orange counties -- as well as beaches in Ventura County -- will be closed to the public for the holiday weekend.

The one exception appears to be in San Clemente, raising concerns as people may flood the only beach open in Orange County.

RELATED: 4th of July 2020: LA County beaches to close over holiday weekend, officials say

Beaches, piers and bike paths will be closed in Los Angeles County for the July 4 weekend, officials announced Monday.

Orange County followed suit Thursday with closures for county-operated beaches, including beach parking lots, for Saturday and Sunday.

The affected beaches include: Aliso, Capistrano, Salt Creek, Baby Beach, Bayside, Camel Point, Poche, Strands, Table Rock, Thousand Steps, Treasure Island and West Street. Officials in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach had already announced plans to close their cities' respective beaches for the holiday. In Newport Beach, two seasonal lifeguards tested positive for the coronavirus, and nearly two dozen others were placed in quarantine.

RELATED: Orange County to close county-operated beaches over July 4th weekend

While these closures weren't ordered by the state this time around, the issue has been addressed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, urging people to avoid beaches to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"This Fourth of July weekend is one of the most social weekends in our lives...we want to remind you that we don't want to see you with a bunch of strangers without being physically distanced, without wearing face coverings over the weekend to the extent you can," Newsom said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said violating the closure amounts to trespassing, punishable by fines up to $1,000.

"The LASD will enforce parking closures and traffic on Pacific Coast Highway during the holiday weekend for areas that fall within our jurisdiction. As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue seeking voluntary compliance and educating the public," the sheriff's department said in a written statement.

Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties have a combined total of over 155,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 4,500 deaths.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom warns Californians to follow new health orders ahead of Fourth of July
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The state is launching a massive PSA campaign in an attempt to convince people to wear masks. If they don't, Newsom said counties should feel empowered to swap the carrot for the stick.

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