The County of Los Angeles announced the closure of all public beaches this afternoon in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Last weekend, people flocked to local beaches along the coast despite stay-at-home orders that went into effect on Thursday, March 20. To prevent large gathering and overcrowding public areas the city has announced that all beaches are officially closed until April 19, at the least.
Today @LAPublicHealth is closing all public trails, beaches and piers within the county. These are difficult decisions, but I agree they are vitally needed steps to protect the health and safety of our communities, and save lives.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) March 27, 2020
This means that all beach amenities — including piers, bathrooms, and bike paths — remain off-limits while the shelter in place order is in effect. Officials say that realistically, the beaches will be closed until public health officials deem it safe. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles has more than tripled in the past week, with the number climbing to 1,465 as of Friday.
The director of the L.A. County of Department of Public Health asked locals to sacrifice going to the beach or hitting the trails for a few more weeks in a news conference held on Thursday.
“I know how hard this is and I know how isolated everyone feels. But we’re in this together,” said Ferrer. “We do it well and we stand a chance at slowing the spread. We don’t do it well and our numbers can exponentially grow each and every day.”
The county also closed all public hiking trails earlier in the week; regional and county parks will remain open, but gatherings of any size are prohibited. Angelenos are encouraged to walk around their neighborhoods and partake in essential activities like going to the grocery store and doctor’s office while practicing proper social distancing measures.
Learn more about what you CAN and CANNOT do while the safer-at-home order is in place, here.
Featured photo: Shutterstock
Also published on Medium.