LA County officials urge residents to avoid the beach during heat wave

L.A. County officials are urging its residents not to go to the beach or to other counties with less strict stay-at-home orders as warm temperatures hit Southern California.
MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- Los Angeles County officials are urging residents not to go to the beach as warmer temperatures hit Southern California.

Warm, summer-like weather conditions this week are raising concerns that some L.A. residents will take advantage of the conditions and not follow physical distancing practices. Southern California is getting a break from recent storms with the first heat wave of the year, as temperatures rise to the 90s in some areas starting Thursday.

Beaches in L.A. remain closed. Officials are asking residents to avoid traveling to other counties with less stringent stay-at-home-orders, such as Ventura County.

Coronavirus: Ventura County begins loosening restrictions amid pandemic
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Ventura County is loosening up its restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Among them, residents can go to a car dealership or bike shop in person to make a purchase -- just practice physical distancing.

Ventura County's new order, which took effect earlier this week, allows for some businesses to reopen and lets some gatherings take place. Further details about the new order are available here.

Beaches remain open in Ventura County. But parking lots, picnic areas and bathrooms are closed and physical distancing requirements remain in place.

"You cannot simply - bunch of friends lay out a blanket, towels next to each other. That's not allowed," said Mark Sandoval, Ventura County harbor director. "You can't go and have a pickup game of football. Those kinds of things where you're not staying separated are just not allowed."

RELATED: In Orange County, surfing continues with physical distancing

So far the county has not written any citations for violations, but they are patrolling and if too many violators are found, they could shut down the beaches.

In addition, businesses that rely on direct interactions with the public, such as retail stores, gyms, bars and nightclubs, remain closed in Ventura County.

There is concern from officials in L.A. County - where the restrictions are tighter, - that travel between the two counties poses a risk of spreading COVID-19.

"When you go, you run the risk - because there will be many more people there - of running into people who are asymptomatic but they're able to infect you, and then you will bring that infection back to L.A. County and we absolutely don't need that," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County public health director.

The stay-at-home order for L.A. County is in effect until at least May 15.
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