NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Newport Beach does not feel like it’s in the middle of a pandemic. Although some are following stay-at-home and social-distancing rules, thousands are at the beach without masks.
Despite the public health plea for Los Angeles County residents not to flock to open beaches in Ventura and the OC, “We don’t need you to go out and get infected in another county and then bring yourself, infected, back here to L.A. County,” said L.A. County Department of Public Health Barbara Ferrer, some are doing it anyway.
Lifeguards estimate 40,000 people on Newport Beach Friday, which is twice as many as Thursday. Many they say, are from LA and San Diego.
“We’re seeing a huge increase in crowds that we would normally see out here in the middle of the summer,” said Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brian O’Rourke.
Newport Beach is open, but the parking lot, pier and boardwalk are closed to try to deter a crowd. Still, some were choosing not to social-distance.
“If you come and you act like nothing’s wrong and everyone is here throwing a football and have a beer with their buddy, that’s how you ruin it for the rest of us who are safe social-distancing,” said UCLA student Cora Fahringer.
Health experts urge people to act responsibly to protect those who will not be able to fight COVID-19.